Thursday, October 05, 2006

Video at New Langton Arts (SF)

Alert: This exhibit is scheduled to close on 10/21/06.

New Langton Arts in San Francisco is presenting a small but notable exhibit entitled, “Nothing stands still,” which explores migration and displacement through the video works of three artists. I was particularly struck by two of the works. One is a two-channel video by Milan-based Adrian Paci in which the artist’s youngest daughter sings a song to her relatives in Albania, and they sing back. The piece is only a minute and a half, but it speaks volumes. Below are images from the two screens:

Even more remarkable is an 18-minute work, “Bocas de Ceniza” [Mouths of Ash], by Juan Manuel Echavarria. Several ordinary citizens of Columbia, whose faces appear worn by poverty, sing to the camera in close-ups. Each song was created by the singer after witnessing one of the endless calamities sparked by that country’s brutal political situation. The songs are addressed to the country’s president or to God. Perhaps the most affecting of these singers is pictured at the top of this entry. The whole video should be seen; it will more than repay the time.

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