Sunday, March 17, 2013

Moving Image Contemporary Video Art Fair @ Waterfront New York Tunnel

I missed most of the Armory show this year, which is a shame because I always genuinely enjoy it. I find it endlessly fascinating getting the inside dope on who is getting over and who galleries are giving a push to, and generally the gaudy over-the-topness is fun, if you take it with a grain of salt. But alas, I got busy and missed everything but a quick pop into Moving Image, and art fair running in conjunction to the Armory. It was free, the work was spaced out, with every gallery showing a video usually with a little bit of an installation. As much as I enjoyed Greta Alfaro’s video of vultures devouring the food on a formally set table in a landscape of brown hills or was dubious of Ted Victoria’s small house built out of scrim with fish being projected onto it, the only video I really spent time with was Rbt. Sps.’s video at Interstate’s booth. And go Interstate for their wonderful show of Canadian video art in February and for having a booth in a Video Fair. Why more Brooklyn galleries don’t show video is beyond me. But Sps.’s video was like the spelling of his name: if you can accept a certain conceit of his stylistic choices, the work is pretty enjoyable, depending, again on how critical or jaded you are. The gist of it is, a non-linear travel log through the existence of a southern artist / hipster. Most of the video is nonsensical, but it still comes off as endearing. Things are off, and the audio is indecipherable, and the cuts might be disorienting, but you’ll go to a parade and see a guy in a Monster energy drink hat riding a police boat, or your host will you show you some of his sculptures after driving around aimlessly. It’s almost commendable just for the fact that it doesn’t seem to involve lots of nakedness or drug use (at least in the chunk I saw). It feels crazy without making me hate everyone involved. I like it, but you can also argue that there is a certain debt owed to the later work of Harmony Korine. Even then, Sps.’s low-fi visuals are much more photographic than anything Korine has done in some time.

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