Kelly Richardson: Orion Tide
2013-2014 | Dual/Single channel HD video installation, 32′ x 9′/16′ x 9′ (variable) with audio
Drawing from the aesthetics of sci-fi films and dystopian stories, Orion Tide presents a Roswell-esque desert with spurts of light and smoke repeatedly taking off into the dark night sky. As a part of CONTACT festival 2013, Orion Tide rests somewhere in the territory between science fiction and biblical wraths. By uniting the cataclysmic commonalities that both worlds share, Richardson created an apocalyptically sublime space in which all ideals dissolve and a universal transition is made for whatever may come next. Be it rapture or evacuation, the solution of departure is immensely satisfying to witness. Self-destructive yet soothing, Richardson convinces her audiences that however bleak, a conclusive end possesses great beauty.
In keeping with Richardson’s practice, Orion Tide questions the fine line between truth and fiction by challenging our ability to assess the integrity of images. Hinging on the fringes of reality and fantasy, the schematics of Orion Tide seem entirely plausible for today’s world. The work’s lack of specificity and ability to conjure the familiar poses an array of questions. Simultaneously convincing yet synthetic, the balanced ambiguity of the scene could be a peaceful ascent towards the heavens, a forced migration, or an exploratory venture towards the unknown. Ultimately, Richardson does not grant us any definitive answers, forcing her audiences to consider the “evocative power of the imagination” and the blurring line between what is possible and impossible. Through a carefully calculated application of digital effects and documentary footage, Richardson questions the credibility of what we see and our increasingly mediated doors of perception.
Shellie Zhang, Art Toronto review
Xiaojing Yan's Bridge (2009-2013) installation made of over 1500 ceramic spoons
Photograph by Tim Walker; styled by Jacob K; W magazine June 2011.
Abandoned Shenyang F-5, F-6, and J-2 (MiG-17, MiG-19, and MiG-15) Aircraft at Kuçovë Air Base, Albania.
via Urban Ghosts
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, a 1988 brilliant classic by Terry Gilliam, explores the mystical travels of the Baron and his friends. On-set photography by Peter Marlow/Magnum Photos, courtesy of Kinoimages.
Here’s a rarity: Terry Gilliam’s out-of-print Criterion LaserDisc commentary for The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (as always; for educational purposes only). A different commentary track is available on the 20th Anniversary Edition DVD/Blu-ray (Amazon).
I hear people talking about Munchausen now, saying it’s epoch-making or something, and they mean the special effects. I mean, of course people and little cherubs dance in the sky! Those things exist in paintings — they’ve always been there and I don’t understand why people are so amazed. There’s a strange leap happens when something goes up on screen and it seems different than when they see it on a painting or in a book or read about it. I was looking at these Medieval paintings the other day and everybody’s floating in the air and there are those marvellous angels and these strange banners that twirl up and round with the dialogue written on them! If you put anything like that in film it’s a very very pale imitation. I’m always disappointed it’s not as good as the painting. Yet people seem to be surprised by it!
What bothers me is that audiences aren’t educated any more into seeing these things. They become visually illiterate and when you put things up there they ooh! And aah! Far more that they ought to. You’re trying to make beautiful images, but they’re not supposed to dominate the thing, they’re just supposed to be the vocabulary within which the story is told. It seems to be accepted in animation. I think we’ve all gotten caught in this world of naturalism being the truth and naturalism isn’t any more truthful that the stuff I do or the stuff Tex Avery does. I mean it’s all artifice.
British cinema used to be visually amazing. Carol Reed, David Lean, Powell and Pressburger — these are really strong visual artists! And then it disappeared, got lost somewhere and we went theatrical; but the side of theatre that isn’t really theatre, it’s the Angry Young Man-type of theatre. But at least it’s visual! Ridley (Scott) and that mob are basically commercially oriented. I find the shots so beautiful and yet… maybe they’re just too close to commercials and they have no real substance other than their own beauty. Greenaway’s stuff I wish I could sit through because every time I see clips, stills — I love ‘em. Then I watch the film and I lose interest in the thing — because I don’t think he likes people, and he’s got a real problem there because ultimately they’re rather important! —Terry Gilliam, The Face Interview
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(Source: , via mermaidinamanhole)