Monday, March 22, 2010

Kentridge Mania Running Wild

Years ago, at The Ink Tank, we produced two segments for a USA Networks pilot called Kid Show.  That pilot didn't get picked up but eventually it transformed in MTV2's Wonder Showzen (which we had nothing to do with).  In the pilot, a sock puppet went around terrorizing doormen and people on the street -this was shot just before Robert Smigel's "Triumph the Insult Dog" hit big.

For all the foul language and viscous haranguing the puppet produced, no one would ever address the person operating it people always talked to the puppet.

At some point viewers forget that Bugs Bunny is a bunch of drawings, we even forget that he's a rabbit.  We're looking at an actor, a man on the run, someone we know.

arts [greater than] World Financial Center: they said themselves

In keeping with New York City's unofficial "Year of William Kentridge" several of his works play with live accompaniment at The World Financial Center.  One performance last night, one tonight.

Quickly the audience forgets that we're looking at animation (the high-fallutin' kin to cartoons), we are looking at art just the same as a  Chelsea gallery or Fifth Avenue museum.

Tribeca crowd, decent turnout despite the horrible service at Starbucks

The film setting puts Kentridge's work in a different light.  In a gallery, they run on loops.  The visitor enters in the middle, sits with the piece for a while then moves on.  Even if one sits with a piece for a full cycle,  the understanding and the relationship to the work is held in this context.

From a Felix and Soho film, an image beautiful and profound

The Felix and Soho films, in particular, take on new appeal.  In addition, the music (composed by Phillip Miller, performed by Ensemble Pi) is terrific -especially the three or four vocal pieces.

All the greats have a little Steinberg in them

The screening runs about 70 minutes and starts at 8 PM tonight.


Michael Sporn said...

I can remember an ASIFA program in which Jim Henson came with Kermit. Henson talked and answered questions through Kermit. You looked at the puppet when he spoke even though it was obviously just a puppet at the end of Henson's arm, and there was no attempt at hiding the Henson mouth movement.

It was extraordinary.

Liesje said...

I remember the moment I realized the magic a good puppeteer wields. I was in Elementary School, sitting down for a puppet show about fire safety. I remember thinking, "Wait a second. You can see the puppeteers! This show's gonna suck!" The minute it started I completely forgot about the man at the other end of the arm.

Michael, I am supremely jealous... you could say green with envy.

Richard, I owe you an iced coffee.

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