Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 8pm
Curated by Ben Coonley and Michael Smith
On the hottest day of the summer, Ben Coonley and Michael Smith planted a tripod-mounted camcorder in the center of the Light Industry loft space and made several dozen 360-degree pans to catalogue every square inch of the walls, windows, pipes, ceiling elements, furniture, fans, A/V equipment and miscellaneous debris in the room. They found hidden miniature treasures: speaker cables leading up and away to invisible spaces, baseboard paint blobs in the shape of trompe l’oeil mouse holes, lunar landscapes on the surfaces of massive cement columns and newly-installed sheetrock.
They zoomed outside the back window facing the East River clear across to the Statue of Liberty. Down in the parking lot an ice cream truck began its route and tested its loudspeakers, a school bus shook and rattled as it turned a corner, a tractor-trailer screeched to a stop, and workers unloaded crates of raw material onto a freight elevator. With each successive camera rotation, mounting temperatures conspired with site-specific demands of the loft and surrounding environment, eventually giving shape to a hallucinatory polyphonic program of films and videos tracking Ben and Mike’s idiosyncratic and meandering curatorial digressions.
Taking its title from Harrison Marks’s seminal film about a myopic executive whose perception is transformed after he finds an enormous wishbone in his turkey sandwich, Spectacle Spectacular offers a leisurely summer excursion for the senses, a “Circle Line” tour of context and space.
The program includes an audience-immersive simulcast tableau of the Sunset Park sunset, followed by an eclectic grouping of work by Jason Burch, Peter Gidal, Karen Leo, Xander Marro, Harrison Marks, Xan Price, Stuart Sherman, Cauleen Smith and the Kids from Kidstock.
Ben Coonley makes videos and live presentations that have been shown online and at film festivals, museums and microcinemas, including the New Museum of Contemporary Art, International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2nd Moscow Biennale, Cinematexas and the New York Underground Film Festival. He was a regular contributor to Movies with Live Soundtracks, a quarterly performance event based in Providence, RI from 1998-2004. He has taught media design at the New School, and will teach video production at Princeton University in the fall.
Michael Smith's performances, videos and installation works have been seen at a variety of venues and public spaces, including galleries, museums, night clubs, the streets and on television. Smith was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and his solo show at Hales Gallery in London just closed. A retrospective, entitled, Mike's World: Michael Smith and Joshua White (and other collaborators), is currently on view at the ICA in Philadelphia. He's the recipient of numerous awards and grants and most recently was awarded 2007 fellowships from the Tiffany Foundation and New York Foundation for the Arts. Smith splits his time between Brooklyn and Austin, TX, where he teaches at the University of Texas.
Tickets - $6, available at door.