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ched William Hellermann launch the performance series of "Art On The Beach." His first work, Nests, was an audience participation piece. Members of the audience were invited to cover themselves with large white sheets, making nests in a circle on the sand. Each nest of participants was equipped with a bird call. Hellermann stood at the center of the circle of nests swinging a long tube. As he swung the tube overhead, it created a hollow, low pitched whistle. Participants were instructed to respond to the sounds they heard around them. After the piece began, it was difficult to locate the source of the sounds. Nests created an interesting juxtaposition of man-made sounds mimicking nature in an unusually "natural" setting at the edge of the urban environment. Through this juxtaposition, heightened by the backdrop of the city skyline, the open air beach came to feel much like a theatre. The creation of Seley ll arkas mechanical sounds in a "natural" setting gives way to a notion of distance, metaphorically mirrored and dialectically reinforced by the contrast of city and beach, skyline and shore. The distance from nature created by the artificial bird calls and contrived nests draws attention to nature and natural worlds. The active ingredient of this piece was the performers'response to their feelings about being in a nest. Some felt secure, some felt threatened, some felt complacent. Hellermann's second piece, En-Trances, also involved group participation, although its elements were very different. The audience was invited to form a chain circle, each person sitting behind the nest. The sound was created by the participants /performers singing into one another's backs. As the sounds of the music passed through the group, the search for a tonal center began to develop into a chord. En-Trances created a dynamic that was different for participant and spectator. For the participant, the piece was a physical, immediate experience. For the spectator, it was a richly aural experience of glorious tones and sustained tempo. As participants ' comprehension of their roles grew, the musical tones and overtones became denser and texturally interesting. The ending was beautiful to see and hear. As if on cue, the sounds faded, the circle straightened up and the piece ended in one graceful motion. Both works have an unusual place in Hellermann's output. They stress the making of music rather than the thinking about music. These pieces were cleverly conceived, addressing critical issues and the experimental perception of structure. The process of creation and the concern for the perfomance site were key elements in the structure of these works. Hellermann once again demonstrates that for him hearing music is making music. In Hellermann's music, the composer/performer fills a pivotal role in the development of a shared experience, an experience created jointly with the audience which shares the responsibility for its making. Debbe Goldstein Film and Video Festival. Women's Interart Center (June). The various evenings of the festival were neatly organized by program director Elizabeth Garfield according to a particular interest: narrative, documentary, experimental. Ellen Hovde and Mirra Bank did some nice work with a Grace Paley story in Jokes, or Love Departed about a single mother's process of maturing . The Cruz Brothers and Miss Molloy by Kathleen Collins moved pretty much in the same vein, except that it was fo35 Nests (Hellerman) cused on three brothers helping a senile woman recapture part of her past. One evening Susan Milano got the audience to mill around and discover the human aspect of video, and that was kind of fun. Her documentation of the festival, though, appeared somewhat superfluous. Why didn't this festival offer one of her video installations? The evenings dedicated to the experimental mode turned out to be the least interesting . They appeared mostly to be about the technological pliability of film and video, explicitly so in the work of Barbara Buckner, Mary Lucier, and Abigail Child. During the two weeks of events I was seeing a great deal: splits, inserts, out-takes, animations, real proplr, negatives, hearts, colors, stills, black and white, myself, post-images, dots and bubbles. My eyes opened, closed, strained, teared. .finding myself unmoved, a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1537-9477
Print ISSN
1520-281X
Pages
pp. 35-36
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
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