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I us performance at Artists' Space in Ju ti' was a treat, despite the overly warm eveling and crowded audience quarters, which made viewing tihe Twelfth SpectaC /('l somewhat diffictlt. TIhe sou IR pieces, produced )y Radio France., displayed the same witty and surprising relationships apparent in Sherman's object man ipulat ions. The "water "i i, with Sherman and Scotty Snyder, was the crowd lavorite, but two new ilms, Elcuator/Dance (which features pin hall machines and escalator stairs as well as elevators) ani Theatre Piece, were aiso well- receiveol. Thea Ire Piece was especial iy interesting in that it, like the "piano' film, features Sherman-as-performer in a performance situation: in the theatre film, he is both performer and spectator. In both films a lot of black was used, and Sherman took on a qualitv of obsessed intensity . Tbe Tuel/fth Spectacle (Language) is especially signifi cant because Sherman's work with objects began as a substitute for writing. (In the film with Edwin Denby , the camera follows his writing gestures by mov ing as thoUgh it wert a peln.) In this spectacle, he tackles the subect of language (as previously, he (dealt with "the (rotit') with his object vOcabUlary. An interesting development is Sherman's increased use of sound. Although this is not the first spectacle in which he uses the casette recorder andi spoken words, it seems a more essential element now. For example, in one routine the word "growl' was heard repeatelyv on a tape, as the spectators saw a toy tiger in a cage. A cloth was placed over the cage and other miniature animals were lined up above it. Suddenly, as a growl was heard on the tape, the animals tumbled over. Though the tiger was caged, his sound (his name) 40 vas enough to slay the other animals. At least two of the routines involved blowing (in one of them, Sherman sUcked air from a nicrophonoe), and the recitation of randoni dates, followed b\ a "whooshing' sound, whibch corresponded to \ arious cut-out silhouettes of a house, a laiMp, a little person, that were subsequientl 'blown' ov('r. in Sherman's %ocabUlarv of images, the eye is thei most firequent human orifice through which knowing, consciousness, au)(f ex)'ritnce entet, although ocCasionall the Mouth functions in this regard. Although the 'Language sp''tat 'l began with an car-a giant rub>er one-this image of film (images and informat ion) passing through the eve (organ of sight and insight) seemed closer to Shermail 's i'('lat ioiship to language thaii does sound itself. A Killer's Loose but Nobody's Talking, an excerpt from a propose(d longer work by Richard Gallo, was polished in the manner of a fashion show. The costumes-especially sequined fish scale outfits-were spectacular, and heavily-padded shoulders very 'in." Gallo's previous work has been very much about costumes and threatening personas (masking his face and body, making random appearances in Robert Wilson's Stalin dressed in outlandish garb such as a red dress with long train), and that is where he succeeded best in A Killer's Loose. . .. Otherwise, the visual and aural stimuli didn't penetrate the surface of perception to create any texture of meaning, or lucid sense of structure. The elements of the piece sugested a possibility of sudden terror which never occured -mysterious rabbit ears on video screens seemed to vibrate to the disturbing pitch of the throbbing soundtrack, a tarantula crawled over the face of a man, visible on video screens as wolves were heard howling. The visual surface and the of)jects were carefully chosen and arranged, but the elements didn't mesh or connect, suggesting that stringing together images doesn't work if there is neither a wellthought out concept behind the arrangement nor an emotional need for it. In addition, Gallo totally lacks a sense of pacing-the piece dragged, om inously at first, but eventually it just trailed off. The precise timing and subliminal theatricality of a Bob Wilson spectacle (it was obvious from the handout given to the audience that Wilson is Gallo's mentor) were totally absent. Sheryl Sutton was...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1537-9477
Print ISSN
1520-281X
Pages
pp. 40-42
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
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