Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Avante Something

Sunday we went to an art exhibit at the Walter Phillips Art Gallery at the Banff Centre. We had heard about this really whacked exhibit that was being shown. My friend Charla said that as she had walked by the gallery on the way to a meeting and she had caught a glimpse of a man punching a skull and was intrigued. Well, we decided that sounds crazy! So crazy that - good gracious - how could we NOT go?

Here is how the exhibit is explained
Combining classical cinematic devices with a distinctively jarring, low-tech sensibility, New York-based artist Aïda Ruilova creates dark, narrative video work. Her short video loops often feature characters performing cryptic and physically uncomfortable actions, revealing her fascination with the conjunction of horror movie aesthetics and the sublime. A compelling, though obscured, narrative is created, overwhelming the viewer with questions. Unidentified, Ruilova’s characters and their relationships remain ambiguous, and the viewer is left to actively detangle the action.
The exhibit runs about 22 minutes on a loop. Each one of us stood there heads cocked a little to the side desperately trying to figure out what the hell was going on on. Was that woman having sex with a corpse or stealing his wallet? Why did that man spit on the other man? Eww! And then rub clay on a giant skull? Was the video of a film crane repeatably being lowered and raised meant to represent intercourse? We had no idea! But what we all did agree on was that next time we go for a drink BEFORE we go to an exhibit. And preferably we drink absinthe, as only the green fairy could make sense of what we saw.

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