Fresh Paint
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Joe Sola at EAC
Weirdly, the essay accompanying the current exhibit at the Evanston Art Center, "Things Fall From the Sky" (May 29-July 10) doesn't mention Joe Sola's short video, "Studio Visit," on the second floor, at all, so I'm not sure whether it's even part of the official show. Was it added on at the last minute? It's a mystery.

The video is a loop of one or two gallery/curator-types visiting the artist's studio, looking at projected work. They talk art crap for a short time (the audio is maddeningly bad, on purpose I'm certain, only emphasizing a few phrases here and there, like "ever since 9/11", or "Spielberg"). Joe then says something like, "let me just, uh," and walks off camera for a second. We assume he's off to find a book or drawing or something. He then races across the room and plunges head first out a window, leaving the visitors (and first-time viewer) utterly stunned. We (the viewers) see the fall on the other side in cinematic detail, and the awkwardness of the visitors. Are they supposed to be cool? Is it real? And then he does it again.

The scenario is played out 4 or 5 times (I think) with different visitors, enough times for it to settle into the familiar repetition of a bad joke. The description on the handout says it's a 3 minute loop, but I think it's a misprint, or else Joe has figured out how to compress time.

I loved this piece, and you all know I'm not a big video person (though I find I've written about it quite a lot on these pages. hmmmm....)

Still need to get over there and look more closely at the other artists' work. And it's Amy Jean Porter's "Birds of North Africa Speak French and English Both at Once" that I liked so much. I got the names mixed up. Janice Kerbel, however, has created an extraordinarily detailed reality here.

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