Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dumb Angel

Check out this video that my friend, Johannes made.
The piece seems both contemporary and ancient at the same time. It's complex and a lot to process. Stylistically, it borrows from Greek plays, sci-fi movies from the sixties, the theater of the absurd, combined with a more contemporary aesthetic. The words vacillate between being oblique to becoming straight-forward, the impersonal merges with the very personal, mimicking the confusion in interpreting the world around us. The chorus which usually reveals so much in Greek plays, and informs the audience of things the actor (s) does not know, reveals nothing. Even the masks, which are usually smooth, seamless, and flawless are comically painted unevenly, and grotesquely reminding the viewer of entropy, aging, and decay. The elderly actress herself, is a stark contrast to the flawless, photoshopped pre-pubescents we are all bombarded with in the media daily. If it is advertising's ultimate goal to make us forget death and mortality, Johannes's goal seems to be the exact opposite, to make us more aware of impermanence and our place within the world. The idea of the objective, clashes and collides with that of the deeply personal and subjective. At first, I interpreted the video to be a comitragedy, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed that the interpretation of the viewer has a lot to do with the values she/he brings to the work, and that Johannes's aim was to achieve something that went beyond interpretation.

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