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born: 1984
a current graduate student at the school of the art institute of chicago, my research focuses around artist-responsive institutions, institutional history, contemporary art in post-colonial nations (particularly latin america and mexico), video art, creative labor, and experimental music and sound installations.... [more]

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“Ariel, I love the Joan of Arc film. So expressive. Thanks for posting it. ”
Posted over 6 years ago
ariel replies:
“I love it too! It's a tour de force... Thanks for the feedback!”
Posted over 6 years ago
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Experimental Film
Surrealist Film



Silent Film
Music For Films

Last night I had the remarkable pleasure of watching a beautiful print of "The Passion of Joan of Ark," (1928) accompanied by a solo cello score performed by Lori Goldston at the Nightingale Theater in Chicago, IL. I had seen the film once before, in college, and remembered it being about six hours long. In my memory most of those six hours were the cuts between Joan, burning on the stake, flying flocks of birds, a baby breastfeeding, the crowd, and back to the pyre. In reality, the film is all of ninety epic minutes, and that scene comprises perhaps ten of those.

What makes the film so spectacular is Maria Falconetti's face, which conveys in silence the most incisive image of rage, passion, faith, fear, courage, confusion, stubborness, and resolve. Her eyes, full and wet throughout the film exhaust the viewer, reminding us that the level of faith and power depicted on screen is something alien from most of contemporary experience. In true silent film style, there is a strange choppiness to the movements of most of the players, adding at times a touch of comedy. But, Falconetti remains still in the center of their actions, her face bearing entire universes of sadness.

Both myself and my companion were struck by the deep washy contrast of the film- most of the mid-tones have either been lost through age, or were never really printed in the first place. In some ways, the intense over-exposure of the film allowed a certain levity to invade our experience, reminding us (as did the choppy chaplin-esque gestures of poor Joan's torturers) that this was an unreality in the extreme, despite the events of history. Biking home through the late evening fog, we remarked on our ambivalence regarding improved technology; expressed a desire for more of these "authentic experiences."

Goldston's score was a welcome accompaniment, and I would describe her playing as athletic. Knowing very little about the process of playing a cello, I was surprised by the range of noises emitted by her instrument. From strangled sobs to malicious tip-toes to long lines of melody, the film became wrapped in her deft bowing.

I guess all this is to recommend a viewing of this beautiful and powerful masterwork.

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posted on 07.05.09





This past week I had the absolute pleasure of travelling to Kansas City, Missouri to meet with several incredible artists, curators, writers...etc. My trip was initiated by a distinct curiousity about this little city, and a little organization called Charlotte Street. Now, calling Charlotte Street "little," is an indulgent reference to their tiny staff of four, all of whom are likely endowed with some kind of super powers given all that they accomplish, initiate, facilitate, and host. All of their programming is in direct response to the artists who call Kansas City home. Their programs provide free and low-cost studio space for emerging artists, direct to artist grants, exhibition programming, the Art through Architechture program, performances of many types, Creative Capital professional development, and on and on and on...

Beyond my sheer enchantment with the CSF/UCP, I found Kansas City a wonderful place to see art and meet innovative artists. Some highlights are hyperlinked below...And, with that said, I wholeheartedly recommend a visit!

Some Artists:

Peregrine Honig

David Ford

James Woodfill

Jaimie Warren

Marcie Miller Gross

Anne Pearce

Davin Watne

Some Places:

Art Space @ KCAI

Grand Arts

Dolphin Gallery



Peggy Noland

Review Studios/ Magazine


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