New York

T. J. Wilcox

Metro Pictures

ACCORDING TO THE SWANS, DECEMBER 16, 2012, IS A DATE TO REMEMBER. So closes one segment of T. J. Wilcox’s Garland #6, 2005, a nine-minute-thirteen-second reel of three silent 16 mm films. Projected from a noisy Eiki Slim Line (the quintessential home-movie model) onto a standard portable screen, the subtitled film is suffused with an enthusiast’s total immersion in his subject. Were it not for the subtitles’ insistence on narrative accompaniment, one might easily read this slow documentation of swans floating on cerulean water as the loving endeavor of a lifelong Audubon Society member. But supplementing the images, like the captions to illustrations in a book, single lines of text unravel the story of a recently deceased woman named Jean, whose unusual ability to communicate with swans results in a prediction. The birds, it is revealed, have forecast the end of the world, even offering

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