This Friday’s inaugural Lost Lectures event in New York will feature not only an impressive lineup of performers and speakers — Dev Hynes, Choire Sicha, Barbara Nitke, Marc Abrahams, Flex Is King, and a special guest — but also a curated video program that will play throughout the evening.
Highlighting contemporary video art from New York, the program is entitled Transition and will probe the inbetween, where things are in the process of becoming and never static. We are delighted to present in Transition the work of a number of eminent video artists: Rico Gatson, Chelsea Knight, Zefrey Throwell, and Saya Woolfalk, among others.
Rico Gatson, “The Promise of Light” (2013)
A mesmerizing meditation, Gatson explains that “The light represents journey, transformation, and cleansing or a metaphor for healing history.” Interspersed with images of a lynching, a slave gathering, the remains of fallen Civil War soldiers, and two groups of slaves and sharecroppers, the video opens up like a visual kaleidoscope that endlessly transforms into something unexpected.
Chelsea Knight, “Fall to Earth” (2014)
Knight’s latest project investigates the threshold between belief and doubt. “It is a look at censorship through the lens of blasphemous or socially condemned speech in comparison to a believer’s religious or ecstatic speech,” she says.
The video recreates the first scene of Salman Rushdie’s controversial novel The Satanic Verses, in which the two main characters Saladin Chamcha and Gibreel Farishta fall from an exploded, hijacked airplane, transform into an angel and a satyr, and survive. Rushdie’s book is still banned in many Muslim countries, and Knight’s hypnotic work “seeks to question how uncertainty threatens fundamentalism, and the final project will be realized as a feature film.”
Serkan Özkaya, “The Nightmare Continues” (2013)
Özkaya’s ominous video work may only be a few seconds long but it is a poignant poke at the politics of representation and strategies of hiding by highlighting the invisible, while acknowledging shadows as traces of past events. You’re left wondering if the shadow is in the way or is everything else?
Zefrey Throwell, “There is a Light and it Will Go Out” (2014)
“Today’s idea must be the flashpoint, the zenith, the apex of everything we’ve ever done. It’s as if the entire meal was expected to be dessert, the whole ball game was to be the home run, as if the entire date was the 3am sexual climax,” Throwell explains about his video project that features a continuously lit sparkler on a darkened screen. “While I am a fan of the hot light that burns twice as bright, it does indeed burn half as long. This sparkler burns continuously for us, for the rack and the wheel, the market drive and the abbreviated appetite of the public. There is a light and it will go out…. ”
Saya Woolfalk, “Becoming a Chimera” (2013) and “Chimera” (2013)
This visual meditation by Woolfalk is a bath of color and form. A visual chimera is both an imaginary female monster with disparate parts, and a scientific term for a genetic organism composed of two or more genetically distinct tissues — for example, partly male and partly female. This peek into an otherworldly realm suggests a lingering sense of myth plays a role in Woolfalk’s work, where figures are in a state of constant transformation.
The Lost Lectures New York takes place on Friday, April 25, and tickets can be purchased online.