Saturday, March 5, 2011

Larry Clark, Tulsa 1968 @ Luhring Augustine

Crazy, and maybe at times a little dull, but crazy nonetheless, an hour of silent footage shot by Larry Clark when he was making the photographs that would comprise his book Tulsa. The people and situations are the same, but the change in medium does have a wonderful way of completely transforming the world as we knew it from Clark’s photographs of friends having sex, doing speed and brandishing weapons. Tulsa in picture form comes off as a very R rated after school special about how doing speed leads to dead babies and getting pistol-whipped. But in the film version, things get weird. A couple having sex isn’t predatory or the product of drug-fueled out-of-control teens, but a downright sweet affair where the couple laughs nervously and both try to preserve some modesty by constantly grabbing the sheets to cover their nakedness. Even more startling is how the authenticity of a guy brandishing a gun in Larry Clark’s photographs comes into question in film form. The sequence looks plausible enough, but somehow seeing it unfold in real time, you can’t help but wonder how real the action is. Sweet and inauthentic goings on are unimaginable when we’re faced with Clark’s still images.

Through February 5th
Luhring Augustine (531 W 24th St. Btw. 10th & 11th Aves.)


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