‘THANX 4 NOTHING’ is an immersive video installation that features the beat poet, John Giorno performing the poem with the same name. The way in which its filmed, mirrors the twists and turns that the poem takes as Giorno looks back at important moments and people in his life, sharing his outlook and relationships, sex, death through the combination of up-close and long shots as well as high speed editing Rondinone’s uses. This emphasies the importance of pace as well as the relationship between verbal and visual representation and the importance they hold to each viewer. For me personally, the two go hand in hand but some may choose to focus more on the dialogue whereas others will pay more attention to the way in which its being filmed and the transitions and the reasons for these transitions and changes in tempo. The mix of both intimate and endearing messages and the frank conversations brought humour and seriousness to the piece, making it a very deep piece. I loved how the TVS and screens surrounded you, making it impossible to escape – you were truly immersed.
OPERA (QM. 15) is a holographic illusion whereby the artist himself disguises himself as Maria Callas, the legendary soprano. As you approach the piece all you can only hear the arias from Cherubini’s ‘Medea’, Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ and Ponchielli’s ‘La Gioconda’ and you have no idea what you’re about to walk into. Situated at the very end of a cold, industrial corridor, as you get closer you start to see a cluster of people straining to view the piece. You can only see it clearly from a distance of 30 metres, so you all crane to see the projection that waits for you. It was a truly rare and unique experience as this was the only hologram I have physically seen making it a very special experience as the only hologram I’ve seen are on Star Wars. This was a dramatic piece that demanded the attention of the audience instantly and the contrast between the piece itself and where it was presented offers up an interesting contrast for the viewer to interpret.
Everything and More showcases the astronaut David Wolf telling the audience about his experience on looking down on Earth from space. The use of footage preparing astronauts for zero gravity, elated crowds and gigs, and galactic imagery all work to showcase the disorientation that Wolf felt upon his return to Earth. This amalgamation of scenes worked to entice the viewer and I in particular loved the scenes involving the water and the transitions between Earth events and space itself as it created a strong sense of disconnect that mirrored what Wolf was feeling.
K is a two-screen video installation where Price uses a combination of techniques to explore collective emotion, performance, and merchandised production. It is in this piece where you start to see connections between all three elements that come into play here and how they all interlink. Putting the video on a loop as well as the text that appears alongside that is also spoken by a synthetic voice enforces the message onto the viewer. The repetitiveness of the piece brings drama to the piece and really emphasises the importance of the artist’s focus and by it being quite a short piece initially and putting it on a loop makes it quite an intense experience.
‘Nightlife’ is a 3D film and audio installation lasting 15 minutes long. Sticking to the artist’s M.O. Gaillard uses his footage, of Cleveland, LA, and Berlin over a period of 2 years, to showcase the ways in which traumatic events of recent history can be read in, or have been memorialised by, urban settings, natural elements as well as architectural and public space. Exploring these different areas bring great depth to the piece, as it works to really strengthen the message as the 3D effect gives it great clarity and a strong sense that this is having a heavy impact on us as a society. I absolutely fell in love with the shots of the blowing trees and I love the shadows they cast on their surroundings, whether it be buildings or a clear empty space, the space they invade and shapes they move to take are so captivating and is definitely my favourite aspect of the piece.
‘m.A.A.d’ is a dual-screen installation that combines the music from the album ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ by legendary rapper, Kendrick Lamar and scenes from Compton, LA. With Joseph being Lamar’s uncle means that this response is authentic, pure and incredibly impactful. Presenting home videos, footage from the streets of Compton, and projecting a dreamlike state to the audience only work to propel this piece further in terms of beauty and great strength. The way in which the music works with the footage achieves symbiosis in the most seemingly effortless way and some of the underwater mixing effects, whereby the track gets muffled, quieter and the quick, sharp cuts when the focus shifts are pure genius. Painting a picture of both the people and setting of the LA town, accompanied by the work of a man Compton born and bred, sets the tone for the strong message of gang violence and gun violence in America and the portrayal of the black man makes for a truly powerful piece of art that will stay with me forever.