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.
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.
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.
Water and oil form the undercurrents of all narrations as they activate profound changes in the planetary ecology. After the oil peak, ever dirtier, remote and deeper layers of fossil resources are being accessed. Aerial recording of the devastated crust in Alberta opens the view into dark lubricant geologies. Climate change, exasperated by projects such as the Canadian tar sands, puts the life of large world populations in danger.
“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
In a broken near future, a band of listless vagabonds ambles across a war-torn coastal territory, supervised and sorted by a group of idle soldiers. Rummaging, stuttering, and smashing through the leftovers of Western culture, these ragged souls conjure an unstable magic, fueled by their own apathy and the poisonous histories imbedded in their unearthed junk. Suspicion, boredom, garbage, and glamour conspire in the languid pageantry of ruin. Feel the breeze in your hair, and the world crumbling through your fingers.
An abandoned rural house, the Ravel Quartet in F major and then rain, wind, snow and fog are the elements of which this video is composed. In an impossible procession, one take presents four atmospheric agents to strike against the house. The musical instruments which follow the quartet each become an audio track which corresponds to each one of the atmospheric agents. So the sound of the first violin drips like the rain, that one of the second violin is muffled like the snow, the sound of the viola moves like the wind and that one of the cello vibrates like the fog.
A man with two dogs crosses a landscape. A person walks along a ridge and stops to look at the skyline. Other people run while nature shrinks back to its enigmaticness. In this video landscape doesn’t evolve according to simple time curves, but according to the particular mode of crossing of a weather element: fog.
Nest-Cams features footage from cameras placed in and around nests. Animals showcased include: black-capped chickadee, red squirrel, house wren, horned lark, red-breasted nuthatch, black tern, brook trout, and song sparrow.
Burrow-Cams features footage from cameras that have been placed inside underground animal habitats (dens, burrows, etc.). Animals showcased include: burrowing owl, black-footed ferret, porcupine, badger, prairie vole, swift fox, deer mouse, and black tailed prairie dog.
Lesser Apes tells the story of a love affair between a primatologist, Farrah, and a female bonobo ape, Meema. Bonobos are the species with which humans share the most DNA, but unlike our species, they are matriarchal, live without conflict, and are unabashedly sexual. A paean to perversion, the film combines animation, live action and song to challenge attitudes about sex, language and our relationship to nature.
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.
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'.