George Kuchar has been invited to Francis Ford Coppola’s vineyard for a large family picnic. Walking around the property with a friend, the two look on as a team of workers picks grapes for winemaking. The visual wonder of this setting is not lost on Kuchar, who spends little time filming those in attendance. Instead, Kuchar turns his lens to all things natural, ranging from small goats and swans to the simple beauty of light reflecting off a stream.
Primate Cinema: Apes as Family is a drama made expressly for chimpanzees – and the chimps' reaction to its screening at the Edinburgh Zoo. Chimpanzees watch television as a form of enrichment in captivity. But no filmmaker had made a film for a specifically ape audience.
A small Italian town on a seemingly distant hill appears like an architectural model illuminated by interior lighting. Suddenly, sounds seem to cancel the distance, suggesting nearness. Places and actions appear in miniature, animated by the light that is switched on and off. The whistling of the wind and the sounds coming from the town increase. A voiceless aria reverberates through the landscape in the absence of light.
In Rotten Apples, George Kuchar explores the themes of life, lust, decay and death, all through the act of grinding apples for cider. As Kuchar walks around an orchard with his friends in an attempt to enjoy the natural beauty of their surroundings, his creeping hand gestures make it clear that the threat of destruction is always looming. However, this destruction can also be understood as the simple transformation of a thing’s physical state.
Sister City channels moments of paradoxical experience—of being a superhero or being for sale—into reverberant conduits, articulating a nature divided by panes of glass or suspended in watery solitudes. Each shift begets a kind of origin story: one encounter traces the specific azure of a James Turrell installation to a pet shop jellyfish, in another, a modern-day putto purifies a horrific tale by blowing bubbles in a tub. Sister City, like water, seeks its own level; cresting and displacing continuous bursts of life, spiritualized, succulent, and ultimately alone.
Rosa Barba produced a science fiction film based on interviews with local residents and individuals involved in the land suppletion project for Maasvlakte 2. Barba asked the interviewees to imagine what this new land could look like in the future. While we see images of the new land, the slufter: a storage reservoir for heavily contaminated sludge from the new Meuse river, the construction of the huge docksides, basalt blocks, empty containers and the mechanical movements of the transhipment process, we listen to a story apparently taking place in the future.
Appealing concurrently in this video essay to various meanings of the term “Subatlantic”—a climatic phase beginning 2500 years ago, as well as the submerged regions of the Atlantic—Biemann immerses her camera deep in oceanic waters to ponder upon the entanglements of geological time with that of human history.
The Magic Hedge explores a bird sanctuary located on a former Cold War Nike missile site on the Northside of Chicago. Left to wander and observe, the viewer becomes aware of the park's open secret: men looking for fleeting sexual contacts within the trees and shrubberies. The video highlights the many contradictions of a site historically devoted to military surveillance and now designed to preserve and control the "wildlife".
At sunset a large orchestra, a choir and a group of young people position themselves against the backdrop of a mountain landscape. The musicians play the first section of Mahler's 8th Symphony, moving in precise choreography. Then, almost unnoticed, groups of them start disappearing in the dying light. Soon the landscape and the sound similarly dissolve into twilight.
“Trypps #7 (Badlands) charts, through an intimate long-take, a young woman's LSD trip in the Badlands National Park, before descending into a psychedelic, formal abstraction of the expansive desert landscape. Concerned with notions of the romantic sublime, phenomenological experience, and secular spiritualism, the work continues Russell's unique investigation into the possibilities of cinema as a site for transcendence.”
-- Michael Green, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Originating from personal affection toward Seoul, Twelve Scenes portrays the spectacles in daily life by juxtaposing urban space in a twelve month sequence. As the individual particles in a kaleidoscope create splendid illusions by being reflected on a mirror, Twelve Scenes shows our individual life, seemingly separated by time and space, actually composes the scenery in the kaleidoscope of Seoul. Twelve Scenes represents a 'moment for self-reflection' or 'small, but precious enlightenment on life'.