Pleasure Dome presents
Mexican pop Videos
Cinecycle, 129 Spadina Ave. (down the lane)
April 5 2002, 8 pm
Curated by Instant Coffee
Gabriel Acevedo (GAP)
Pedro "Zulu" González
Annette W. Balkema and Henk Slager use the term hyper-aesthetic to locate the position of the visual arts within image-saturated cultures, where the aesthetic is no longer confined to the realm of visual art but extended to domains such as fashion, design and advertising. The hyper-aesthetic becomes a place or scenario where visual art situates itself both inside and outside the consequences of an over-embellished visual culture. Visual art is then no longer the primary means of bringing the aesthetic into everyday life, and as such negotiates its position as a locus of concepts. Aesthetic means of conceptualizing ideas become commonplace, leading to the creation of savvy audiences who raise the stakes as they demand more complex systems of representation. The artists selected for this program understand the competitive nature of visual culture, but instead of obscuring their meaning or position by recreating another codified system of specialized visual language, they choose to simplify the terms. The videos embrace generalized aesthetic formulas and in so doing hit you over the head with their message. The videos may vary between mundane and spectacle, but all overtly play --through image, sound and styling -- with popular domains of representation. In a way, the artists in this program give the audience what they want, an aestheticized concept, just maybe too simply or too quickly.
Collection of essays and interviews compiled from three symposiaAnnette W. Balkema and Henk Slager. Introduction. Exploding Aesthetics (a coorganized by the L&B Series), 2000.
Instant coffee would like to thank the board and staff of Pleasure Dome, the generous support of the Mexican Consulate, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and the Canada Council for the Arts for their generous support.
1. Gabriel Acevedo (GAP), Bingo Intergalactico (video, 7 min.) 2002.
Acevedo's future looks more like the past. Pixelated shapes in minimal colours slide across the screen seemingly with no real order or purpose, but there is a plan. Bingo Intergalactico is a promotional video for a futuristic video game. This tape demonstrates the game, but that does not mean the rules are given away. Acevedo is one half of Duopandamix who specialize in making low-fi electronica. He will be playing at Element, Toronto on Wednesday April 11, 2002.
2. Gabriel Acevedo (GAP) & Andrea Ferreira, Energia Negra (video, 5 min.) 2000.
What do you get when you remove all goodness? No one to save the day. For Energia Negra, Acevedo and Ferreira edit the dialogue of an evil power lord from a popular Mexican children's cartoon. His violent threats and rants are played in conjunction with a view out of a high-rise window. The slight movement of the camera and the colourful reflection on the glass creates a lazer gun effect that could potentially carry out the power lord's destructive threats. But even with no one to save the day evil doesn't accomplish much.
3. Ximena Cuevas, Contemporary Artist (video, 4:30 min.) 1999.
Cuevas is often the center of her own videos. In her long and diverse body of work, private and attimes nonsensical behaviors are recorded in single takes and put together with simple edits. Contemporary Artist, one of her more recent works, is a cutting and comic look at the insecurities and struggles of the contemporary artist. Cuevas self-consciously reveals more than her own anxieties by casting herself as the comedian.
4. Miguel Calderon & Yoshua Okon, A Propósito (video, 00:30 min.) 1997.
Calderon and Okon in their friendship propagated a scene of art and music makers primarily through the establishment of La Panaderia, an exhibition space in Mexico City. Early in their careers, Calderon and Okon performed as the bad boys of their community. Cuauhtemoc Medina, a cultural critic, called them "truly corrupted." Their video works show them breaking laws, taking risks and being truly offensive. We thought about showing it twice, but we didn't want to reveal too much.
5. Galia Eibenschutz & Alexis Zabe, Karaoke (video, 4:00 min.) 2001.
Karaoke is a celebration of romance. A young couple's love has won against all odds, whether that be class, race, religion or all of the above. We accompany the lovers in their ride into the sunset, but there is something off about this journey. The moment is sustained for too long, the soundtrack fits too well and they are going no where.
6. Ilian González, Neones (video 1 min.) 2001 and Cineminuto Parque (35mm on video, 1 min.) 2001.
Cineminuto Parque is just a park from which Gonzalez creates a fantasy world of pure colour and flowing movement. It has all the tropes of a commercial set as she creates a world where anything can happen. That is to say anything can happen with the help of the product, but here product placement never occurs. Neones is also derived from the stuff of sales, but Gonzalez hides the sell line in order to highlight colours, shapes and movements, realizing that you can watch anything for a minute.
7. Pedro "Zulu" González, Zeuris 2 (video, 11 min.) 2001 and Untitled, (video, 1 min.) 2002.
As the title suggests Zeuris 2 is the second in a continuing saga. Space exploration, invasion and destruction are all played out in this absurd story. Zulu animates B movie like moments and strings them together to create a spectacle that has far more to do with the effects and form of his craft than with any superceding narrative. The following short drives this point home.
8. Sylvia Gruner, Lazy Susan (video, 3:40 min.) 2000.
For more than ten years, Silvia Gruner has worked with film, video, photography, installation, and performance. The artist's numerous works have tended toward an exploration of Mexican culture and the influx of neo-nationalist sentiments. Lazy Susan is a bit of anomaly within Gruner's ovrere. It is a more playful piece and one that she refers to as a "greatest hit." With the right music and an obviously coupling, she creates a dizzying romance that can't be denied.
9. Yoshua Okon, Chocorrol (video, 1 min.) 1997.
White and beautiful is literally defiled by black and ugly. This one minute single take and shot video turns the complex stratification of class and race, which is so evident in the daily realities of urban life in Mexico City, upside down. Okon in Chocorrol gives the cliché "it's a dog eat dog world" new meaning.
10. Renato Ornelas, Castingmania (video, 6 min.) 2001.
Ornelas is a young film/video maker who supplements his income by directing television commercials. For Castingmania, Ornelas melds his commercial work with his independent practice. He pilfered casting takes and compiled them into a tape that pokes fun at an industry that reduces emotions to simple gestures or expressions in its need to relay information in a short period of time. Through his over-the-top and at times redundant and repetitious editing techniques, Ornelas implicates himself in creating these caricatures of emotion.
11. Xavier Rodriguez, Untitled (video 2:30 min.) 1995 and Huevo Abandano (video 2:10 min.) 1995.
Rodriguez runs his conceptual practice through many disciplines. He is best known for his fashion designs and work as an associate curator for Ex Teresa Arte Actual, Mexico City, but he is also a visual artist who exhibits his video, installation and sound work regularly. In these raw videos, Rodriguez stages simple events in order to let the camera record what happens. He inserts one element into the regular flow of traffic. While the audience is left with anticipation as they wait for something to happen, the drivers or passersby remain oblivious or just uncaring. it
hola mole instant coffee
Pedro "Zulu" González