I went to the D.U.M.B.O. Art Under the Bridge Festival in search of cool video, not sure what I would find, but optimistic that there was good stuff to be had. I've had experience with the Festival before and knew that the curatorial range is strong and vibrant, and that video_dumbo always has an impressive program, so I was optimistic. But I also know that art is a fickle lover, and I wasn't surefire I'd see anything that would raise my spirits. Happy to say my sojourn to the Dumbo Festival was a stimulating and rewarding, and my video quest successful!
I started Friday night curious to see Sean Capone's piece Camera Rosetum in the Archway since I had recently learned of the extensive renovations that the Dumbo Improvement District had completed there, and knew what a beautiful 'canvas' he had to work on. Could his videos stand up to the site? I was curious to see...
With his encompassing and baroque colorfields exploding, blossoming, melting, and bizarrely metamorphosizing, Capone matched the impressive architectural space, and complemented it well. His computer animated projections were wholly mesmerizing and riveting -- a morphing environmental installation that surrounded everyone watching -- and a wonderful addition to the festival program.
On another side of Dumbo, Ed Purver's projection, A Show of Hands, on an abandoned building by the east river was a very different sort of thing. Also large and awesome in scale, his projections were of hands signing and playing -- bopping out of the windows of the building and then sliding back in. They were hard to photograph because of all the movement and low-light, but captivating in their mysterious playfulness, and enigmatic communication.
Of a much more personal and intimate nature, and aptly within one of the buildings instead of out on the street, was Cat del Buono's video entitled Public feeding. Situated inside because of an unexpected exhibition location change, Buono's video was alittle hidden away, but definitely worth the hunt. Provocative and confrontational yet still nurturing and tender, this video made me pause and wonder.
After viewing Cat's piece I returned to video_dumbo where I spent alot of time. Their program was dense with over 50 different international video artists, a video "pod", a book/DVD release and screening at Powerhouse Books, guest curators, and a joint presentation of the 25th anniversary of the Standby Program from NYC. There was a huge amount to video to see, in different formats and at all different times, and great job done by curators Caspar Stracke and Gabriela Monroy. Some selections of favorite videos viewed below:
A Little Girl Dreams of a New Pluralism Meanwhile The Old War Continues by Les Leveque, 2009, 1:07:11
Dystopia Series by J.G. Zimmerman, 2009, 6:22 min loop
Red Cabinet, by Kyung Woo Han, 2005, 2:30 min
ROOF, James Nares, 1975 (Outtakes/Excerpts) 7 min from Standby Program
if you missed the 13th Annual D.U.M.B.O. Art Under the Bridge Festival this year you missed a really great art-filled weekend, and should, perhaps, type it into your electronic calendar for next year! I'm sure everyone who participated is resting now, but i bet there will be a 14th annual to look forward to. I will be.