0s & 1s is the directing debut of LA-based filmmaker Eugene Kotlyarenko. The film, currently set for release in fall of 2009, is about a guy named James Pongo who loses his computer and finds that his “hyper-connected reality takes a nosedive.” 0s and 1s utilizes a unique visual system in which the viewer watches the movie through a barrage various computer-like windows, bringing a decontextualized computer environment to the silver screen and eschewing traditional expectations of cinema language.
Fabienne Verdier paints with unconventionally large tools. She creates her own brushes, made from substances like sheep hair, duck down, or horse hair, sometimes reaching 6 feet long and over 150 pounds. The brushes are suspended with rope, and then handled physically, or with the help of a pair of bicycle handlebars. Trained under a Chinese painting tradition, Verdier frequently uses black to create her paintings, but will often transgress this tradition by using bright, earthy colors. Preparing ascetically before each piece and practicing the art of spontaneous expression form the basis of her work.
Paris’ Avalanche Design Studio is a collaboration between Alexandra Roucheray and Delfine Roux. These two definitely have a unique take on process, which seems to lead each piece down a path very distant and varied from the one previously worked. Perhaps it’s the hint of Dadaist influence I’m detecting?
Graphic designer and art director Albert Exergian’s humorous take on popular TV series “minimizes” the concept of each show into 2-3 colors and shapes. Remember old Penguin Classics book covers? This is the revamped modern sitcom version!
As digital technology takes over analog traditions it becomes harder to keep alive the tried and true methods of yesteryear. Case in point, analog photography. This is why British photographer Richard Nicholson began documenting the few remaining professional dark rooms in London before they all slowly disappeared and were replaced with high resolution digital cameras and massive digital printers. Will these labs one day only live in history museums and through the work of such photographers such as Richard? Only time will tell.
Constance Mallinson‘s large-scale paintings merge the man-made world and nature literally by constructing figures from images of leaves, twigs, and decaying organic material. They are grotesque meditations on both the mortality of humans and the world in which they live. Her full-figured “nature people” reference both the works of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, the 16th-century Italian known for paintings in which still life objects are used to form surreal portraits, and famous paintings, such as Edouard Manet’s 1863 seminal painting “Olympia.”
In examining her recent paintings created from decaying matter, L.A. Times critic Christopher Knight wrote that “after painting savvy landscapes for more than twenty five years”… the current “imagery suggests the way in which we project ourselves on conceptions of nature, creating the natural world even as we go about assuring its destruction.”
See Constance’s work from now until July 28th at Culver Center of The Arts in Riverside, CA.
Delicately painted portraits by Toni Gallo where the body is stripped away and replaced by the subjects accessories, personal belongings and various forms of flora.
Mexican photographer Alinka Echeverria’s The Road to Tepeyac , for which she won the prestigious French prize HSBC Prix pour la Photographie is a typology of the backs of three hundred Mexican pilgrims on their journey to the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico city. This yearly pilgrimage is undertaken by approximately six million devout Catholics on the anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531 to the indigenous man Juan Diego. This journey is a manifestation of the iconic power of the Virgin, whose image was miraculously imposed onto Juan Diego’s cloak. Belief in the apparitions and their evidence, the ‘sacred image of a miracle and a miracle of images’, marks a turning point in the struggle for power of the Spanish conquerors, for whom evangelizing was imperative to the success of the empire. They successfully conquered the imagination using imagery as a tool for acculturation and domination in an already extremely visual indigenous culture.
The pilgrims photographed, carry their own reproduction of the Virgin – paintings, sculptures, posters or cloaks of the icon, taken from home and shouldered on their backs to the place of the apparition. The journey is an arduous one, a physical and spiritual undertaking with each pilgrim bearing their own evidence of devotion whilst enforcing their own personal relationship with the Virgin. Echeverria takes each portrait separately, which is then cut and transposed onto a plain background. This de-contextualisation is intended to raise the subject above the corporal world, making them appear like an isolated icon.
Seen as a series, each portrait creates a dialogue with the others. A narrative of interconnecting personal missions removed from the rest of the elements originally in the image. The sheer number of portraits helps to create a visual maze of similarities and differences. With the surrounding landscape removed we are struck by the contrasting richly colored Virgins and muted tones of the pilgrims.