The CINEMA ON THE VERGE gallery at 4411 Montrose costs $5.00 (or free with Cinema 16 Screening Room ticket). The ticket is single entry, but you do not have to designate a day. It includes the following installations during Nov. 3-11, 2012 from 11am – 8pm:
AMERICAN FALLS by Phil Solomon
American Falls is a new multimedia installation by acclaimed experimental filmmaker Phil Solomon, originally commissioned by the Corcoran Museum in Washington D.C. Inspired by Frederic Edwin Church’s 1857 oil painting masterpiece Niagara, American Falls explores the aspirations and struggles that lie at the heart of the American Dream. Three digital projections depict Niagara Falls cascading down the walls. Gradually, scenes ranging from everyday life to major figures and events that shaped American history and cinema dissolve in and out of the waters. Solomon’s innovative use of altered film emulsion transforms Niagara Falls into a metaphoric landscape.
Solomon’s films have been screened at the Museum of Modern Art; the New York Film Festival; the Sundance Film Festival; the Whitney Biennial; and at many other prestigious national and international venues. See Phil Solomon and his films Phil Solomon: Collaborations with Stan Brakhage and Remains to be Seen: The Films of Phil Solomon on Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10, respectively at the Cinema 16 Screening Room upstairs.
DIALOG by the Light Surgeons
Dialog is an art installation by Christopher Thomas Allen, founder and director of The Light Surgeons. Originally created as part of the Articulated Exhibition at London’s OXO Tower in 2006, it has since toured internationally to major galleries and art biennales. In the installation, a series of arguments and word association games are taking place between two computer terminals that are placed inside an ordinary office space setting. The original audio recordings were made during a series of debates that Allen held in London, and the images that appear on the computer screens have been selected using an Internet search engine in relation to each word spoken. The images form a visual cacophony and create a surreal narrative of their own, abstracting the disembodied speakers. In addition to this installation, The Light Surgeons’ SuperEverything* will have its US debut as HCAF’s main live cinema event on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9 and 10, at 7:30 p.m. The project, a kaleidoscopic view of the cultural landscape of Malaysia, will be presented at Houston’s newest arts and culture center, Asia Society Texas Center, and cosponsored with the University of Houston’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.
MEDUSA SMACK by Vanessa Renwick
In Medusa Smack, viewers lie on soft pillows beneath a large jellyfish-shaped screen on which images of Pacific sea nettles and moon jellyfish in an aquarium are projected. Accompanying the video is a haunting, meditative soundtrack composed and performed by Tara Jane O’Neil. The score is partially comprised of sounds recorded by Harry Bertoia on his own Sonambient sound sculptures. Renwick works in experimental and poetic documentary forms. Her iconoclastic work (showing Saturday, Nov. 10) reflects an interest in place, relationships between bodies and landscapes, and all sorts of borders.
NIGHT HUNTER HOUSE by Stacey Steers
Night Hunter House by Stacey Steers is an installation built to accompany the animated film Night Hunter (showing Friday, Nov. 9), which was composed of more than four thousand collages that Steers completed over a four-year period. From the outside, the “dollhouse” is dark and Victorian in style. The rooms of the dollhouse are elaborate, filled with miniature furniture, tiny light fixtures, antique lace, bird eggs and, in each room, a small video screen playing a different loop from the film. The film incorporates images of silent film star Lillian Gish in Broken Blossoms and other silent classics, placing her in a nightmare world filled with snakes, giant moths, and pulsating eggs. Steers’s animated films have been screened at The Sundance Film Festival, “New Directors/New Films” (The Museum of Modern Art and The Film Society of Lincoln Center), and numerous other festivals worldwide and have won national and international awards.
VIEWMASTER a digital mutoscope by George Griffin
With Viewmaster, George Griffin has created a new digital context for his classic 1976 animation that riffed on Eadweard Muybridge’s nineteenth-century motion studies. In Griffin’s conceptually concise work, eight characters including a naked man, an anthropomorphic blob, and a stick-figure restaurant waiter are rendered in discrete drawings. The characters appear to continuously run in place and simultaneously chase after one another. The digital mutoscope ironically presents a computer animation in a nineteenth-century format. Griffin, who lives and works in New York, has been a professional animator since 1968. His work has been shown at museums such as the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and The Museum of Modern Art.
CLAM BAKE by Joanna Priestley
Acclaimed independent filmmaker Joanna Priestley (the “Queen of Independent Animation,” according to Bill Plympton) created sixty animation sequences for this interactive work. It starts with a group of static turquoise clams, olive figure eights and a vermillion ball. As the participant opens the compositions, pointed twangers, zoetropes and other surprises appear, all of which lead to a wonderful animation at the end. Composer Seth Norman (Triage) created a rich score for Clam Bake, which escalates as elements come to life. Priestley has produced and directed 24 films, which have won awards at film festivals all over the world, including the New York, Sundance and Telluride Film Festivals, among many others.
Finally, CINEMA ON THE VERGE will also include two satellite exhibitions at locations around Houston, in partnership with Project Row Houses and Aurora Picture Show.
whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir by Eve Sussman
Eve Sussman’s whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir at Aurora Picture Show (2442 Bartlett Street) pushes the envelope of cinematic form. This experimental film noir is edited live in real time by a custom programmed computer called the “serendipity machine.” It delivers a changing narrative – culled from 3,000 clips, 80 voice-overs and 150 pieces of music – that runs forever and never plays the same way twice. Sussman will present and discuss the film on Friday, Nov. 9 at Aurora from 6:00-9:00 p.m., with artist’s talk and Q&A at 7:30 p.m. Viewers will be able to return to Aurora Picture Show and view the endless film on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10-11, from 12:00-4:00 p.m. Eve Sussman is a Brooklyn-based artist and filmmaker who works independently and collectively with Rufus Corporation, an ad hoc “think tank” of performers, artists, musicians, writers and programmers. Sussman and Rufus Corporation’s work has been exhibited at the Reina Sofia, MoMA. The IFC Center, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and other museums, non-profit art spaces and festivals internationally.
QUESTION BRIDGE: BLACK MALES by Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson’s Question Bridge: Black Males is a project that critically explores challenging issues within the Black male community by instigating a transmedia conversation among black men across the geographic, economic, generational, educational and social strata of American society. As part of Project Row Houses’ Round 37, Question Bridge will occupy two of the Art Houses with the nationally acclaimed multimedia installation reconfigured especially for the Project Row Houses venue. Question Bridge will be on view Oct. 13, 2012 through March 3, 2013, with an artist’s talk by Chris Johnson on Friday, Nov. 9 at 1:00 p.m. Question Bridge has been exhibited at the Sundance Film Festival, the Brooklyn Museum and other museums and galleries. Chris Johnson is a photographic and video artist, writer, curator and arts administrator. He authored The Practical Zone System for Film and Digital Photography, is a full Professor of Photography at the California College of Arts and served as President of San Francisco Camerawork Gallery.