Saturday, March 27, 2010

Busting A Move For A Contemporary Art Gallery

Exhibition Title: QNTV
Location: Queen's Nails Projects, 3191 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Date: Friday, March 26, 2010

The American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said that, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” I entertained similar thoughts while watching the video screenings at Queen’s Nails Projects on Friday night, as the crowd’s mood was light and responsive to the music. I felt as if I could forget my tendencies to be critical in an art space and simply enjoy the narratives and sounds of the videos. Curated by Rachel Adams and ZoĆ« Taleporo, the screenings were a part of a new installment of QNTV, “the first in a series of video screenings at Queen’s Nails Projects that showcase work blending performance, music, video and song writing.” The featured artists blended or amplified their own art practices with a form familiar to an audience raised on MTV, the music video. The music video can be understood as an entertaining and theatrical medium, which also tends to be accessible to broad audiences.

Of the videos I viewed, one in particular that favored highly with the spectators was Ely Kim’s Boom Box, 2009. The video played as a montage with 100 clips of the artist dancing in various spaces — work, home, club, outside, etc — to popular hip hop, rock, techno and dance songs. Many of the musicians included, from Paula Abdul to Joy Division to Madonna, were easily recognizable and produced excitable responses from the audience. Although the video translated as an entertainment piece, the mixture of songs provoked the viewer to be reminded of unique experiences and memories related to the music.

As I continue to absorb the visual experience, I find myself asking questions about the “artist music video.” For example, how is it different or similar to the music videos circulating on MTV or YouTube? Comments...?


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