A woman in a spangly white leotard and feathered headdress bows to the camera, which then pulls back to reveal her standing on the edge of a swimming pool, into which she dives, and then we cut to a shot of our heroine and two similarly dressed friends dancing down a green country road. Celia Rowlson-Hall’s Three of a Feather, the star of this program of short videos by seven Montreal and six Brooklyn artists curated by Boshko Boskovic as part of the recent Montréal/Brooklyn festival, moves through a series of dreamy vignettes, unhurried but unceasing, with small narrative continuities flickering like St. Elmo’s fire on a mast around the main forward motion.
For Paloma, Rosemarie Padovano placed a flamenco dancer on the roof of an empty mausoleum in Greenwood Cemetery and filmed her using her feet and hands to play the little building like a drum. The conceit sounds too clever to be workable, but Ms. Padovano’s close focus on the dancer’s intense, athletic performance minimizes the conceit—and by extension all conceits—by exalting the execution. At the same time, Marko Marković’s American Spring, a compilation of footage the artist shot during Occupy Wall Street, and Robert Boyd’s Tomorrow People, which begins with a trailer lifted from the 1970s sci-fi dystopia No Blade of Grass and then segues into a dance-music-fueled remix of Parisian and Athenian protesters running, screaming, throwing Molotov cocktails, and being beaten by police, together make a compelling case for the inevitable distortions of the lens.
In Michel de Broin’s 2010 Trancher dans la noirceur/Cut in the Dark, a man with a chainsaw cuts into a lamppost and then pushes it over. Its lights explode against the concrete and the screen goes black—apart from the glow of a few other lamps in the distance. Art’s only truths are its own.
(Through Feb. 3, 2013)
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