Artists' Television Access

ILLUMINATED TEXTS: New language-based videos by David Finkelstein and Mike Kuchar

Friday, April 13, 2012, 8:00 pm, $6-$10

Language forms the basis for these premieres of new videos from acclaimed filmmakers Mike Kuchar and David Finkelstein. Whether it is the exploration of language emerging from the body in Finkelstein’s “Marvelous Discourse,” or the opulent verbal/visual splendor of Kuchar’s “Opal Essence,” these complex collages of music, images, words, and sounds all aim to use video in order to bring poetic texts to life.

In Kuchar’s “The Vernal Zone,” a summerland a path opens for Poets, Artists … and the Dreamer. Finkelstein’s “Marvelous Discourse” uses improvisation, music and images to explore the gendered, bodily experience of language. In Kuchar’s “Opal Essence,” performer/poet Marc Arthur sighs for strange and hidden cities whose walls are pink stone, inlaid with opals, ebony and silver, and for altars where the body is worshiped under the shrine of night. Finkelstein’s “The Two Fauns,” based on an excerpt from Percy Shelley’s lyrical drama “Prometheus Unbound,” features an original score for 14 voices plus vibes and harp composed by Randall Wong and performed by the C4 Ensemble. In the Shelley poem, two fauns are entranced by the sounds of unseen spirits. Here, the two fauns are two men, engaged in a friendly game of pursuit, as one of them follows the other through grungy alleys and doorways. Finkelstein describes his “Epistolary Fusillades” as being about “shattered mind, shattered images, shattered culture.” Fragmented messages bombard us from all directions. Should the artist “hold the mirror  ball” up to nature, and mesmerize the populace with fractured distractions? Or can the artist build new meanings through the technique of collage?

A special part of the evening is a collaboration between the two artists: Kuchar’s “The Dreamer’s Tale,” in which performer and writer Finkelstein sleepwalks down into subconscious corridors.

MIKE KUCHAR’S films have been acclaimed all over the world since 1963. His work has influenced many other filmmakers, such as John Waters, David Lynch, and Andy Warhol. Mike and his brother George Kuchar were the co-recipients of the “Vanguard Director Award” at the 11th CineVegas Film Festival, 2009, and the 2009 “Frameline Award” at the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival.

DAVID FINKELSTEIN’s video work has been featured in numerous one-man shows, film festivals and has won awards at twelve of them. Filmmaker Henry Gwiazda wrote that “Finkelstein’s work is stunning thematically, visually and structurally.  Structurally, I don’t think he has a peer in video art.” His work has been funded by The Fund for Creative Communities, The Field, Movement Research, Meet the Composer, The Brooklyn Arts Exchange, BACA, and other sources.

For more information about David Finkelstein’s work, please visit:

For more information about Mike Kuchar’s work, please visit: