While taking a break from sweating my ass off and riding around the city interviewing characters for an upcoming article, I took a break at Jupiter Coffee Shop and enjoyed an ice cold mocha frappe (the best Summer drink in the city) and noticed this inspirational light beaming down towards several copies of the San Antonio Current. Though one might think I somehow moved the tall, red bookshelf in place while no one was looking, the placement of the heroic Spielberg-esque shaft of light actually happened naturally.
Goodbye To Vtrue
For a last show at Vtrue gallery, Kerri Coar presented Sweet Tooth, a celebration of cupcakes.
Photos, sculpture, video - all present.
This last show has the air of a celebration though I suppose it was bittersweet (I know...)
I talked to the head curator, Barry, I believe. He told me a wedding photo business was going to be moving in next month, oddly coinciding with Foto Septiembre.
From this wall of ceramics...
Weiland at 1906/Fl¡ght Gallery (No, Not the Guy From Stone Temple Pilots)
...to this one. The other Weiland, the German artist who flew in for the show, had work at Fl¡ght Gallery and down the hall at 1906.
First, Fl¡gth Gallery. The pens on the wall suggested interactivity but at the time I was there everything seemed to be from Weiland (I assumed.)
UPDATE: Wrong on my part. An email informed me "The multimedia exhibit is called "Exist/Resist: Metamorphosis of Destruction" by Laura Varela, Vaago Weiland and Guillermina Zabala; with additional participation by Justin Parr, Ed Saavedra, Carolina Rubio, and Reagan Johns."
A progressive art word association game.
A confusing close-up on my part. I think there was a word underneath 'changes' that I accidentally cut off. A participle, or something, was dangled.
This detail added nice comic relief. Perhaps this was part of the interactivity.
The artist of the night is seen here on the right, as gallery owner Justin (I think) looks on longingly from the video projection.
UPDATE: This image is not of Justin but of local filmmaker, media artist, and photographer Guillermina Zabala.
Though I know its digital, the palette reminds me (to an excessive degree) of old Afga film that was *the* film used for almost all the notable European films of the 1960s and 70s. Something about the Parisian light and the Agfa film stock combining together to create a distinctive look that can't quite be duplicated today.
UPDATE: The woman in this image is of the aforementioned Laura Varela.
Here, Weiland explains his work for the 1906 Gallery space.
Some jack officer next to me kept commenting on the supposedly obvious anger of these images. Maybe, maybe not. These collages remind me of faded street advertisements one sees in most big cities. The layering of new and old combine together to tell their own story. As for the icons of protest, it shouldn't be a stretch to imagine them as being positive as much as they are 'angry'. As Florence Reece once sang - Who's side are you on? However, that phrase is just as much a slogan of the Right as it once was of the Left. Because what's a neo-con but a burnt-out Trotskyite, apparently.
These characters on the bottom are somewhat of a double-take. The dude on the far right seems fresh off the Eastert Front circa 1944, whereas the guy on the far left might have just gotten back from band practice for the Rage Against the Machine reunion tour. The guy in the middle? A lost soul...
A Tale of Two Fences
More on these guys later in the September 5th edition, most likely.
I don't know why (juvenile sense of humor?) but this kills me. Just a block away from the top fence sign, I see this aztec fence sign.
And then not too far from that were these sacrificial mops, left out for dead. Yeah, it was a slow week.
Talk to Me (And Others)
For the fourth Sunday in a row I saw a 10pm screening of a film. The first week: Die Hard (a film that I knew was crap, but was received positively for all its cheap charms and relentless pace - the only thing that Hollywood films can claim to even half-way do well: move very fast.)
Then, a *thinking man's* action movie, Bourne Ultimatum. I think the film was much better than reviewed at this paper previously, and what interested me most was the confounding shift in tone by director Greengrass. Before, he made the 9/11 re-enactment film Flight 93 that focused on the lives of the hostages. I'm not sure what he hoped to achieve, but at least he made the film with tact. It could have been completely sensational. Instead, it was borderline existential in its detached view. Having said that, the film offers very little indication of a critique of anything.
Next comes this film, the Bourne Ultimatum. Whereas the paper's reviewer saw it not to have a clear antagonist, I felt Greengrass's point was to implicate the role of the American government, and then eventually, that of American attitudes. The repeated shots of Bourne being water logged seemed an obvious allusion to *Gitmo* and Abu Ghraib torture scenarios. Any critique was lost with the goofy last shot that keeps the sequel hope alive, but for a while, Bourne was in full blowback mode as he sought revenge against the CIA. That everyone cheered could be seen as full indication of people's attitudes, or, just the manipulation by the plot?
Next, Rescue Dawn - a *thinking man's* POW escape film by German auteur Werner Herzog. The trend over the weeks' films has been towards supposed thoughtfulness and away from action. Most of the attention of this film has been on Christian Bale's method weight loss/manorexia but I thought the same attention could have been towards erstwhile bad actor Steve Zahn. He lost as much weight as Bale and delivered a Bonny Prince Billy styled performance full of big facial hair and sullen emotions. It was shocking to see the goofball Zahn deliver an understated performance such as this.
The other interesting thing about the film was the producer - NBA star Elton Brand. The combination of the smooth Brand and the maniacal Herzog is so bizarre, there's something...Herzogian (Herzog-esque?) about it. Yes, this was both of their first American narrative films, so to speak, but Herzog is the one with the real baggage and for those who know his other films, of course its shot in a remote jungle.
And lastly, Talk to Me with Don Cheadle. Though its received positive reviews, in the end, it felt like a VH1 biopic. The beginning (or the "rise" in biopic terminology) was entertaining but as the second act continued (the "fall" in biopic terminology), the film lost its purpose and became too much about a friendship between Cheadle's straight-talking ex-con DJ character and his straight-laced producer/manager friend. A different structure was needed for this film. I don't have too much else to say about it.
And to end, here's a video that practically everyone in the whole world has already seen but its worth posting here just in case.
Well, I couldn't pass up this one either. Possibly not as popular in the pop culture arena as the Filipino prison/Michael Jackson re-enactment but incredibly popular elsewhere. 13 million views can't be wrong, can it?
And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio. As always, to be continued...