As part part of LA Opera’s Eurydice Found program celebrating the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin and Sarah Ruhl’s opera Eurydice, the Hammer Museum will screen BLACK ORPHEUS, MarcelCamus’ bossa nova take on the myth. (The film’s score is by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfá.)
I want art to stand strong, to display how it manipulates its audience. I want it to take up their expectations, their sense of the world, their predispositions toward the way they think or use their language, and then to use these things perversely, politically, colorfully, “expressively.” — Tony Conrad
*Tony Conrad Writings was co-edited by Constance DeJong.
From top: Tony Conrad performing Bowed Film, 1974, image credit Greene Naftali, GalerieBuchholz, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Tony Conrad Writings, cover and inside images (3), image credit Primary Information.
The whole MANIFESTOS series is created this way: I put manifestos that I come across in a research file. And then I translate the text of each manifesto into musical notation. All the letters of the alphabet from A to G are converted directly into musical notation. So if the letter A pops up, then that’s translated into the note A. I also translate H as B flat, which is part of a Baroque tradition… All of the letters that are not notes becoming resting silent beats…
The whole idea, of course, is that the music is not produced subjectively. It’s produced following the system. The uncanny thing is that sound is subjectively realized. That happens because of the notational system; it’s a diatonic scale. The notational system is intuitive to anybody familiar with Western music… The listener finds the music meaningful regarding content and representation but fully understands there is no intention to produce meaning, or that the music is an expression of the artist… Whoever’s listening is making the meaning, because we’ve been trained to make those links. In other words, our cultural learning is producing our comprehension of the sound. That’s crucial to all my work. I’m arguing that the idea of the subjective imagination is an ideology, it’s not a fact. — Charles Gaines*
In conjunction with the exhibition CHARLES GAINES—PALM TREES AND OTHER WORKS, the artist’sMANIFESTOS 3—”a multimedia installation that functions as a systematic transliteration of two revolutionary manifestos into musical notation”—will be performed by pianist RichardValitutto at Hauser and Wirth in Los Angeles.
An interpretation of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1967 speech at Newcastle University and James Baldwin’s 1957 essay “Princes and Powers”—a report from the famous 1956 Sorbonne conference of black writers—this MANIFESTOS 3 premiere will be followed by a conversation with Gaines and a book signing of the artist’s current exhibitioncatalog.
For the viewer enamored with arthouse, experimental, experiential and extremely lyrical cinema, it takes less than five minutes to get wholly immersed in this ethereal, boldly unconventional phantasmagoria which eschews historical/biblical narrative in favor of the sensual visuals and chic baroque atmosphere. Although it does feature the Dance of the Seven Veils, SALOMÉ refuses to tell the (familiar) story and instead opts for satiating our appetite for aesthetic pleasure. Ars gratia artis it may be, yet it hardly ever fails to impress, holding you in its gentle embrace…
Its pure, unadulterated magic relies on soft light, warm colors, strong chiaroscuro, deliberate pacing and slow-motion ‘action’ which turns the archetypal characters into partakers of a strange ritual of unfathomable purpose. As Eros and Thanatos dance like they are making love, the ripe darkness that surrounds them engulfs their hypnotized worshippers and drives them into sublime ecstasy. However, it is not only them who are under hypnosis, but us as well, with our gazes transfixed to the screen and ourselves lost in contemplative reveries. — Nikola Gocić
Dirty Looks and the Los Angeles Filmforum present a special, one-night-only screening of TeoHernández’ richly impressionistic take on SALOMÉ at the Philosophical Research Society.
Dorian Wood—fresh off his Redcat incarnation in Xavela Lux Aeterna—will perform a score created for the event, “marrying the operatic evocations of Wood’s singular voice with Hernández’ baroque cinematography in the unique, Mayan-inspired architecture” of the venue.*