Artists' Television Access

Her Tail Was Cut in Two: wide and still with a humming core

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 11.24.44 AMOn Friday, ATA hosted the kind of free-form film and music collaboration that makes a viewer feel like there are small and wonderful programs playing in all the tiny venues across the city; one step through the unmarked door of a dusty storefront sends a wanderer into an uncynical urban bohemia where young artists push against the boundaries of new form. Not so– Her Tail Was Cut in Two was a rare and singular event, a junction of understated talent. Sorry if you missed it.

Chris Lynn opened the program with three wide, still films, loosely connected to the subject of water. Atracados- Moored by Filipe Afonso sets two boys at a harbor. Their discussion, in Portuguese, references a story and a life beyond the screen– will they leave home? One recounts a dream in which he walked into the sea. The acting is opaque. Their backs face the camera and the world is beautiful in its indifference at sunset.

Lynn’s film follows. Snow gathers on the wings of an airplane before it pierces the clouds. Then, Ann Deborah Levy’s camera rests on the surface of still water. Trees shimmer. These films are made in a lovely, uncaring world.

Janel Leppin follows; frantic plucking of the cello’s strings makes mixes with Gino Robair’s idiosyncratic compositions– out of the mixer board, we hear electronic echoes of dripping water. Janel’s voice rises, ethereal over the sound boards. She is on the floor, singing into her pedal board, while Cyrus Yoshi Tabar’s green apocalyptic clouds billow onto the projection screen, then scratch away. The voice is the warmth in the program, piercing all the carefully framed surfaces. She breaks everything open. And, the humming of the bow over the cello strings sews it together again.



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