PRINT December 2018


Ed Halter

The Otolith Group, O Horizon, 2018,* 4K video, color, sound, 81 minutes 10 seconds.

O HORIZON (The Otolith Group) The most immersive cinematic work to date by Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun, this sensuously philosophical portrait of the West Bengal educational center Santiniketan also serves as a waking dream of alternative modernism.

Shigeko Kubota, River (detail), 1979–81, still from the 32-minute- 17-second color three-channel video component of a mixed-media installation additionally comprising a steel trough, mirrors, motor, and water.

“BEFORE PROJECTION: VIDEO SCULPTURE 1974–1995” (MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA and SculptureCenter, NY) One of the finest moving-image gallery exhibitions in recent memory, curator Henriette Huldisch’s eye-opening show of video art from the cathode-ray era conveys the history of the medium with an all-too-rare precision, mingling canonical names with rediscoveries.

BLESSED AVENUE (Jacolby Satterwhite) A baroque animated mythscape with an accompanying sound bath that melds high-fantasy tropes with computer-assisted choreography, Blessed Avenue is at once the apotheosis of Satterwhite’s singular mastery of digital technology and a world unto itself.

Jean-Luc Godard, Le mythe—allégorie du cinéma (Myth—Allegory of Cinema) (detail), 2005–2006, foamcore, collage, felt pen, wood, glue, iPod, 18 × 49 × 38 5⁄8".

“MEMORIES OF UTOPIA: JEAN-LUC GODARD’S ‘COLLAGES DE FRANCE’ MODELS” (Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York) This installation of eighteen elaborately constructed, cunningly scaled maquettes, produced as prototypes for Godard’s 2006 Centre Pompidou retrospective but never realized (and perhaps unrealizable), charted a Lilliputian journey through the history of cinema.

Theodore Darst & Collin Leitch, All Manner of Things Shall Be Well, 2018, two-channel 2K video, color, sound, 9 minutes 44 seconds.

ALL MANNER OF THINGS SHALL BE WELL (Theodore Darst & Collin Leitch) A collage of camera footage and video-game environments, processed and reprocessed until the indexical cannot be distinguished from the synthesized; a twenty-first-century medieval fable, positing 4K flatscreens as our contemporary incarnation of stained glass.

MARY JANE’S NOT A VIRGIN ANYMORE (Sarah Jacobson) Jacobson’s Gen-X gem, a 1997 low-budget sex (serio)comedy told from a young woman’s perspective, was at last digitally preserved by the American Genre Film Archive.

FAINTING SPELLS (Sky Hopinka) One of Hopinka’s most lyrical efforts, this utterly compelling HD video folds together inner and outer landscapes.

Carolyn Lazard, A Recipe for Disaster, 2018, video, color, sound, 27 minutes.

8 A RECIPE FOR DISASTER (Carolyn Lazard) Installed at LUX’s space in London as part of Cinenova’s show “if you can’t share no one gets any,” Lazard’s cleverly constructed quasi loop reframes an episode of Julia Child’s The French Chef as a Martha Roslerian psychostructural analysis of media accessibility.

VHS cover of Joseph Yale’s Revenge of the Nighthawk, 1983. Photo: Evan Purchell.

@ASKANYBUDDY (Evan Purchell) A not-entirely-safe-for-work Instagram account run by a dedicated Texas-based schlock-o-phile with an unparalleled collection of gay-porn marketing ephemera. Each post is as potent as a hit of poppers.

10 SOME REFLECTIVE SURFACES (Adrian Piper) A haunting work that’s been stuck in my head ever since I saw it as part of Piper’s astonishing MoMA retrospective. Centering on 16-mm footage from a 1976 audience-interactive performance at the Whitney, the piece uses dance to generate a deep meditation on consciousness and embodiment.

Ed Halter is a founder and director of Light Industry in Brooklyn, NY, and Critic-in-Residence at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY