A screening organized by Laura Parnes
Wednesday June 4th, 6:30PM
The artists in Melodrama employ and subvert melodramatic strategies, heightening notions of good and evil, using music in an operatic way, or employing violence and intrigue at the expense of realism. Ranging from humorous to disturbing these visceral works blur boundaries between experimental video and genre-based narrative film.
Artists include: Adam Ames, Janet Biggs, John Brattin, Barbara Ess, Michelle Handelman, Claudia Joskowicz, Erik Moskowitz, Guy Richards Smit, Type A
John Brattin, The Triumph of the Night, 2006, SUPER 8 on Video, 21min.
featuring Gwyn Hervochon, Jim Fletcher, and Stephanie Fischette
"Drawing from sources ranging from Bambie to The Turn of the Screw, this morbid tale utilizes dialogue appropriated from characters including the Wicked Witch of the West and Vivien Leigh's Emma Hamilton. Brattin crafts a story of stained innocence and sadness, set in an ambiguous Victorian past, somewhere between Oliver Twist and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Lia Gangitano
Claudia Joskowicz, Perfect, 2000, video, 2:30 min.
Perfect takes a sampled dialogue from the film Harriet Craig (1950) and translates it into Spanish using an internet language translation site. The Spanish translation is subsequently translated back into English using the same site. An actor lip-synchs both parts of the dialogue; as you hear the original film's dialogue in one screen you see the degenerated subtitles projected in the adjacent screen.
Guy Richards Smit, Hot Body Robbin' G.I's, 2008, video, 4 min.
Two American soldiers investigate what remains of a destroyed insurgents hideout. They come across a charred corpse and are beguiled by a glittering Rolex still strapped to a blackened wrist. They attempt to grab the watch but it's too hot! They wait. Hot Body Robbin' G.I's is one part of a larger, in-progress video installation titled I Have Come Unprepared that is concerned with longing, failure, tedium and awful flashes of self-awareness.
Barbara Ess, Oh Mama Can This Really Be?, 2007, video, 1:20 min.
Music: Radio/Guitar (outtakes)
Stuck inside a cozy nature preserve, creatures struggle with claustrophobia and contemplate death.
Barbara Ess, Dressing for Suicide, 2007, video, 2:38 min.
Music: Dream Baby Dream, Suicide (excerpt)
Finding the appropriate outfit for the occasion can be a painful experience. But hope reigns.
Erik Moskowitz, A Bit of Dirt, 2005, video, 10:15 min.
A Bit of Dirt draws a correlation between the ethical bankruptcy depicted in Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz's 1927 work Insatiability - upon which the libretto is based - and that of contemporary society. An ensemble cast, awash in ennui, lip sync the soundtrack sung in multiple tracks by the artist, on a baroque set of projected and printed imagery.
Adam Ames, Dead Of The Day (from The Hollywood Videos), 1998, video,1:20 min.
Inspired by a pop culture obsession, The Hollywood Videos interpret celebrity and cinematic icons as private, esoteric fantasies. By creating and representing these fantasies, the artist attempts to align himself with those who are famous rather than those who are not. The arcane nature of the fantasies provokes the question of why.
Type A, Barrel, 2007, video, 1:35 min.
Barrel addresses the restriction of public movement characterizing urban life over the past six years as well as the illusion of safety from an ever-present threat. In the piece, the two members of Type A run head first into a huge cluster of orange safety barrels. After crashing in, they engage in a futile attempt to move the barrels out of their way to make a path. Along the way, they must negotiate one other, whether to avoid or overtake.
Michelle Handelman , DORIAN (in progress), 2008, video, 2:30 min.
A sneak peek at Handelman's multi-screen adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. Inspired by the book's themes of youth, beauty and the meaning of art, here, Dorian is a young female street punk who falls under the tutelage of an diabolic drag queen and finds herself catapulted into the spotlight as queen of the underground bio fem drag scene. Featuring Armen Ra as Lord H, K8 Hardy as Sybyl Vain and Sequinette as Dorian.
Janet Biggs, Enemy of the Good, 2008, video, 4:56 min.
Taking its title from the Voltaire quote, "the perfect is the enemy of the good," Janet Biggs' single channel video explores the isolation, obsession, and driving desire required to be the best in the world at a chosen discipline.
For more information please contact
Sara Meltzer Gallery
525-531 West 26th, 4th Floor
New York NY 10001