Thursday, March 27, 2008

All Your Dreams Are Over Now

I saw the Hirshhorn's Cinema Effect pt. 1:Dreams exhibition about a week ago. The thesis of this show, read literally 'the filmic in relation to dreams', is at best tenuous. The expo is guilty of weaving one narrative while presenting quite another. Much of the work collected here is only film and not very dream-like. Yes, for once I read the text at the entryway and still wasn't convinced. Supposedly being led through the stages of sleep and dreams via cluster of films isn't really my idea of a strong concept. I mean, I get it. It's just not very interesting. And what is a show about film and dream without the Brothers Quay?!

The more present theme of the show was, to me, was the dislocation of experience, which no less than David Bowie talks about in one of Tony Oursler's pieces. Slavoj Zizek's book The Parallax View should have been handed out at the entrance, but lucky you!... it's in the gift shop. For an eight part break down of the pertinent parts of the book go here. I realize that Part 2 of Cinema Effect will be more or less about this experience/surrogate experience subject, but it is a difficult concept to not think about when facing film images.

The greatest work in the show was Christoph Girardet's Release, 1996 which is one long, crazy, hilarious edit of Fay Wray screaming because Kong is knocking down the door. I really liked the soundtrack to Darren Almond's film, but subject wise it was quite literally like riding through Dante's Inferno "scary ride" at Coney Island. I also really liked the Tacita Dean because it made me think of unattended spaces. You know, like ,"What is my house like when I'm not home? What noises are there?" The film was very pretty. I also really liked the entire installation of Rodney Graham's Rheimetall/Victoria 8, 2003. But again it called into question the experience of film and the apparatus of that experience with a giant projector whirring away next to you in the gallery.

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