Saturday, March 5, 2011

Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Bircher, Mêlées @ Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Having recently given up cable, I find myself watching lots of PBS documentaries, and it is hard not to wonder why all documentaries aren’t more like Mêlées? It is a wonderful little documentary about an area named Movie Mountain in West Texas with a meandering narrative structure of an unfocused Tarantino script. The documentary is interspersed with stunningly beautiful shots of puddles, cactus, and the surrounding landscape while investigating the area’s extremely tangential relationship to movie making. The seductive ambient shots of West Texas make me suspect that Ken Burns’ reliance on vernacular images has ruined a generation of documentarians. Or maybe most documentarians just aren’t the artists that Hubbard and Bircher are, and simply don’t value silent landscapes shots in the same way as they do interviews and more literal visual fare. It is a real shame though. It seems there is a lot of potential for art in documentaries.
February 5th
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (521 w 21 St. Btw. 10th & 11th Ave.)


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