Archive for the ‘video art’ tag

Stalin to Putin

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Stalin/Putin, Smith/Mugabe, Somoza/Ortega, Hirohito/Kim Il-sung, Idris/Gaddafi, Batista/Castro, GOP/Dems are ongoing portrait pairings of autocratic leaders that reflect a corruption of power. These illustrations have been created with the intention of animating a transformation from one face to the other as video loops. “Stalin to Putin” is the second animation of the series. “Somoza to Ortega” was completed quickly following the Sandinista’s last constitutional amendment that got rid of term limits, facilitating Ortega’s permanency as Nicaraguan president. I created the illustrations and my assistant Thomas Medina is the animator behind “Stalin to Putin”.

Transitio_MX 06 Cambios Compartidos Opens 9/25

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This year’s installation of Mexico City’s Festival of Electronic Arts and Video Transitio_MX 06 is titled “Cambios Compartidos” (“Shared Changes”) and opens Friday September 25th and runs through October 4th at the National Center of the Arts. “a geography of being : una geografia de ser” will be on view and the game is available to play online.

Transitio_MX 06

Alex Prager at Lehmann Maupin

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Alex Prager at Lehmann Maupin

Alex Prager at Lehmann Maupin

Alex Prager employed a soundstage in Hollywood to create her latest set of works. Near the street entrance hang beautiful large scale color photographs and toward the back is an immersive three-channel video installation that the prints appear to be taken from. As the press release describes the video installation

the film opens with a series of confessional monologues in which characters from the crowd scenes poignantly relate their own stories and insights, such as childhood memories, recurring nightmares and personal revelations. Suddenly, the scene changes and an orchestra strikes as a sea of people flood into view. The iconic heroine then leads the viewer on a journey through the crowd wordlessly expressing a range of emotions including isolation, sadness, confusion, curiosity and anxiety. The juxtaposition of character monologues and the frenetic crowd scene poignantly illustrates that within a swirling sea of strangers, there are countless individual stories and unique experiences unfolding.

The concept is striking and the video could easily be longer by portraying more individuals in the beginning portion. In fact the small number of portraits at the beginning undermines the concept. I believe that commonly, individuals living in dense urban environments desire to peak into the lives of others. That is to have the opportunity to observe the day to day lives of ones neighbors or the person sitting across one in the subway. This has been a common motif in films as characters use binoculars or telescope to spy on the neighbors.

The power of bird’s eye view of a multitude of individuals flowing in a public space that is presented in the video would be enhanced if the viewer begins to identify individuals from the portraits.

Alex Prager at Lehmann Maupin

Alex Prager at Lehmann Maupin

One other element that I’m critical off is the need to stylize the individuals in the video. The people in portraits were highly made up to the extent that they seem to represent stereotypes. This exaggeration reduces the gravitas that the work may otherwise carry. Perhaps by evoking stereotypes, the artist is reflecting on how mediated our lives are or that our lives are but a fiction.

Written by ricardo

January 13th, 2014 at 7:12 am

The Work of Sharon Paz

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Today I met the artist Sharon Paz who is a fellow resident artist at Helsinki’s HIAP. Following our meeting, I watched a 2012 video work of hers and absolutely love it, check it out!

DISTRACTED DESTRUCTION, Sharon Paz, 2012 from Sharon Paz on Vimeo.

Written by ricardo

July 3rd, 2013 at 2:00 pm