Mar 20, 2010
DREAMS OF LIGHT AT THE NEW MUSEUM (and at a studio in the LES)
A blurry woman dances slowly against a blurry window. It's the vision of a Thursday, by Miranda July. Patrice Leconte is happy to be alive... in a cemetery. Christopher Doyle plays sexual chess games. Bruce LaBruce follows a surreal character called Theda Lange around Berlin. Mount Eerie gets a crazy killer casually killed on the roads of America. Albert Maysles plays an adagio with the skin, the light, the texture and the imaginary love capabilities of his own hands. His movie it's a delightful visual poem, but that it is also true for most of the films that could be seen last Friday at the New Museum's lobby. They were Imperfect as They Are, home movies and video art made by some of the favorite artists of the talented group of entrepreneurs that hides behind Powershovel. That's the company that makes the genius camera Digital Harinezumi, the one I've used to make a few videos for this blog.
A still from Kim Gordon's movie.
I have to confess, though, I am biased, I am friends with them. Does it make my writing less true? I wouldn't say so. By the line up of names to which Powershovel handed their superstar camera to do a free-theme movie with, I think there is no doubt: this Japanese company has very good taste. Some of the films were three minutes long, like Kim Gordon's; some five, like So Yon Kim's or Jonas Mekas'; some eight, like Matt Amato's, from The Masses, in LA, ( he is talented blood for the music video business and sooner than later, for the film business too). All of them enjoyed the challenge; wrote verses with light or stories with silent images. It seems quite clear that they had fun.
"The basic idea, which is literally very basic, was to give to our visual idols a very simple, tiny plastic camera and ask them to make a home movie or a fine video art piece for us" Nick Dangerfield said. He is a half Spaniard half British music producer who works as the head of Powershovel in New York.
The company, born in Japan about a decade ago, it's a niche for photography and music lovers. The eight people who run it choose artists that they like and they produce photography books or music albums of their work. Just a few every year, with care and love. Dirty Three, Matmos or Nico Muhly were part of a double album inspired by the pictures of the Japanese master Daido Moriyama. Bruno S, the old actor that has played in cult movies like Kasper Hauser, will soon have an album and a drawings book. The company is small, and they want to keep it that way. The analog cameras that it sells help with the business. But the Digital Harinezumi, with its Super-8 quality, has been their biggest success, creating a cult follower. It's first edition had no mic, and it became a best-seller. That's how the idea to hand the Harinezumi to a few visual idols came from. The last cameras were almost gone and they didn't plan to produce more. The new generation of Harinezumis was going to have sound so they thought about doing a homage to the silent one.
Judging by the long line of people who stood patiently to get into the New Museum for the Imperfect as They Are screening party, the idea was a total success. It was definitely the place to be last Friday in New York, but it got so crowded that became very difficult to watch the movies in the little screenings they set on the lobby of the museum. Too many beautiful people trying to enjoy the free booze... That's why Powershovel decided to screen the movies for a week at a studio in New York starting on Monday March 22, and invite the available artists to talk about their films. To find out about schedules and address call 212-274 88 28. It's free. The show will travel this year to Barcelona, Tokyo, Paris and LA and more artists will be added to the line up.