Louis Fratino, oil on canvas, from top: Bushwick, 2019, oil on canvas; Me and Ray, 2018; Tom, 2019; Me, 2019; Invitation, 2019; Yellow Sleeper, 2019; Kissing Couple, 2019. Images courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co.
The exhibition GORDON PARKS—THE NEW TIDE, EARLY WORK 1940–1950G looks at his mid-century work from the time when “images began to proliferate in picture magazines and on television,” providing an “engaging study of the competing purposes and meanings” of his commissions—journalistic, governmental, industrial, and fashion.*
CorneliaHediger‘s DOPPELGÄNGER is now on view in Philadelphia.
“The DOPPELGÄNGER series of photographs are pictorial narratives that explore internal human emotions, notions of the uncanny, the subconscious/conscious mind, the ego and the alter ego. The narrative structure itself is based upon and utilizes the concept of the Doppelgänger—specifically as understood within Germanic literature: a ghostly double or apparition of a living person, widely assumed to be sinister and a harbinger of bad luck, but also highly ambiguous, thus presenting a psychological dilemma. The central characters are enacted by the artist herself within claustrophobic and timeless spaces.
“The structural device of the tableaux-vivant is used to carefully choreograph multiple individual, full-frame photographs into single artworks, using a grid system that also serves to maintain the photographic integrity of each photograph. Most of the artworks are constructed with six photographs, but as the series has progressed they have developed in complexity, incorporating up to twelve.” — Cornelia Hediger
CITIES OF LAST THINGS—the fifth feature by director Ho Wi Ding—follows a haunted police detective through a reverse-narrative spiral. Reminiscent of the gorgeous neon-and-noir dreamscapes cinematographer Christopher Doyle created for Wong Kar-Wai, the Taipei triptych opens with a suicide in the year 2056, then works its way back to 2019 and the 1990s.
Jack Kao (61 years old), Lee Hong Chi (29), and young Hsieh Chang Ying play Zhang Dong Ling over the course of three crucial nights in the character’s life. The film was shot in 35mm for a wonderfully grainy sheen—Jean Louis Vialard was the director of photography. This award-winning Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival selection screens Monday night in Los Angeles.
“The beauty of dance… is that it gets passed from one body, one soul, to another. There’s something so beautiful, so precious about that. It comes out of the body, it goes into the air, and then it disappears.” — Stephen Petronio
In the afterglow of the Merce Cunningham—Night of 100 Solos events, the immersive new documentary IF THE DANCER DANCES tells a different Cunningham story: the 2015 restaging of the choreographer’s RainForest by the Stephen Petronio Company.
The sexual quality and hint of narrative in this 1968 dance—with music by David Tudor, costumes by Jasper Johns, and décor by Andy Warhol (the silver, helium-filled pillows)—create an atmosphere distinct from almost every other Cunningham work. The challenge for the stagers—and Cunningham company veterans—Andrea Weber, Meg Harper, and Rashaun Mitchell is replacing the continuous-movement ethos of the Petronio dancers with Cunningham’s non-momentum aesthetic. As the film demonstrates, how to do this is perhaps a subject of dispute:
“The focus needs to be exactly on what you’re doing, and not on an image of anything.” — MegHarper
“RainForest… transcended pure movement… [The dancers] need to hear images that might help them.” — Gus Solomons, Jr., Cunningham company veteran
IF THE DANCER DANCES—directed by Lise Friedman and Maia Wechsler—mixes extensive performance and interview footage of Petronio’s dancers and their teachers with scenes of Cunningham rehearsals from the 1960s. This essential document of modern dance making and Cunningham’s philosophy and practice is playing around town through May 9.