Is it ever JUST a kiss?

It was just a regular day of museum visiting at the Beyeler Fondation in Basel, Switzerland. That is, until it wasn’t.

Danielle and I had just finished discussing some works in an exhibition featuring Wolfgang Tillmans’s photography, emerging from the show feeling very serious, very intellectual.

We trotted into the next room on our artsy fartsy high horses. In the following moments, we were knocked clean off our noble steeds. THUD THUD. Dumbfounded.

birdyThe space is large, white, mostly empty. There is a big square mirror propped against the right wall. It doesn’t hang but simply rests on the floor. On the left side of the room I recognize the polished gold surface that belongs to my favorite sculpture, Bird in Space by Brancusi. Right smack dab in the center of the room on the floor, sandwiched between the mirror and sculpture, lay a man and a woman kissing.

We don’t really know what to think.

The kiss is long and slow. I don’t embarrassedly look away like I normally do when I see these sorts of kisses between couples in public.

The man and woman appear to be in their late twenties or thirties. Both have tied back their brown hair in loose buns, some flyaway wisps of hair escape the elastic constraints. They both wear plain pants and shirts.

They move in a perfectly controlled slow motion, methodically shifting between positions of spooning, cradling, hugging, different forms of embrace. All the while they maintain an unbroken eye contact.

I, not usually a great admirer of excessive PDA (public display of affection), was completely mesmerized.

What made this so special? After all, we see people kiss and embrace all the time. Heck, and you sure see a lot more if you’ve been watching Game of Thrones. But these two fully clothed, regular people seared an image in my head, probably forever.

It was done tenderly and with such sincerity. Didn’t feel phony, didn’t present as a set-up. Those two could have been visitors just like everyone else and suddenly plopped down in the center of the gallery and there they were.

tinoWhat we were seeing was a presentation, Kiss (2002), created by Anglo-German artist Tino Sehgal on display at the Fondation Beyeler during a limited time. Sehgal does not call his works “performance” or the participants “performers” because that might suggest viewers don’t play a role in his works, which they defintively do. Instead he calls them “constructed situations” and “interpreters.” His oral instructions and rules are interpreted by male and female artists who can usually sing, dance, and choreograph. The situations he creates are “immaterial and fleeting, the thing that truly matters being the viewer’s experiencing of the situation.” Sehgal gives an insightful talk on his inspiration, thoughts and motivations for creating Kiss which I link here.

Once Danielle and I were finished dusting ourselves off from our metaphorical fall and processed the situation as an art piece, we calmed down. We wearily re-mounted our high horses and started to analyze and discuss.

This act breached the boundary between performance and “real life.” Where does one make an exact distinction between the two anyway? The blurred line freaked me out a bit.

What a funky paradox. It feels private and intimate, yet other visitors and I were watching them do their thing safely from within the sanctions of a museum. Besides, this was not real…. right? It was a feeling of internal conflict I had never experienced before.

Danielle and I began to observe the other visitors filing cautiously into the room.

kiss3A teenage brother and sister blundered in. His gaze fell upon the interpreters, the color rushed to the tips of his ears and he twitched a sheepish smile. The siblings retreated to a corner of the room and with body language oozing of insecurity continued to watch in spurts of furtive side-glances. 

A young woman and her hunky beau strode in holding hands. As they registered the situation, they broke apart and perhaps unknowingly distanced themselves. She was very intent on watching the piece while he stood behind her and stole a glance at his watch. Heaved a sigh. 

Another couple -much older this time- hobbled in. They watched the embrace side by side for some time before pulling each other in close. A secret smile spread across her face and her eyes flickered in a way that gave away her nostalgia.

A father and his pre-teen daughter shuffled through the doorway, talking. She was facing him and saying something when he first discreetly spied the interpreters and made the decision to keep a fluid walking pace. She didn’t look around the room as they crossed, her eyes fixated on him the whole time. They disappeared in the other doorway.

Funny how a performance can unveil so much about its audience. Some were embarrassed, some drew together while others spread apart. Everyone kept an invisible radius of distance from the couple, and no one stayed long. I didn’t meet the interpreters, but I did meet the visitors in a sense.

It can be refreshing to not know what to make of an artwork at times, to be humbled by it, to have to work to comprehend.

Thank you, Sehgal, for the challenge. I hope I stumble on another equally as curious “situation” again one day.

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Félix Vallotton vaut le coup

Enter Kunstmuseum, Bern. Ascend ancient spiral staircase. Arrive exhibition entrance. Traverse three doorways. Enter Room 4. Pause. Gasp. Gawk.

The current exhibition on display is “Van Gogh to Cezanne, Bonnard to Matisse: The Hahnloser Collection.” As we wind through the rooms at the beginning of the exhibition, we are greeted by the oeuvres of all these big-name artists.

But nothing compared to the experience of emerging into Room 4. Nothing. I’m not even being dramatic.

Sometimes when I walk into a gallery space, I scan the room first and make a beeline for the piece that compels me most. Why not? There’s no shame in seeing what you damn well please, and isn’t that the whole point? Yet this tactic failed tragically in Room 4.

Every single piece was equally as compelling, and like some form of medieval torture I could feel my conflicted body torn in all directions. Where should I go first?

Shimmering landscapes and radiant portraits galore. All by Franco-Swiss artist Felix Vallotton. Although all are dazzling, I will contain my discussion to my favorite piece which I chose according to purely personal preference.

Detail 1The star of the show, the cover of the exhibition catalogue. The 1913 painting La Blanche et la Noire is as beautiful as it is mysterious. A harmonious symphony of color graces the canvas and instilled in me a sense of awe. The space is divided horizontally into two color blocks: a bright teal blue and a stark white. The brilliant hues complement the women’s yellowish-peach and walnut brown skin tones. The black woman’s fire orange head wrap against the teal background enhance their vibrancies, while the white woman’s flushed red cheeks and auburn hair mimic the black woman’s beaded jewelry.  

Even on a purely visual basis, the painting pulsates with an almost inexplicable radiance.

Now, it may seem odd to call such a well-lit, realistically rendered piece mysterious, but I mean this in the sense of the content. What in the heck is going on in this image exactly? The black woman sits casually with her arms folded over her knees, torso leaning forward, head turned and shown in profile to look in the white woman’s direction. The burnt end of the cigarette that is nestled between her lips suggests she has been sitting and smoking for a few minutes. Is she going to ash that soon? What’s the next move?

The white woman casually reclines, head propped on a pillow. Her torso is a creamy yellow while her extremities flush pink. But it’s her intense sanguine facial complexion that made me question: is this a healthy glow or is she actually sick? Her stance can now be read as casual rest or exhaustion. She gazes out in the direction of the black woman from underneath her droopy eyelids. Her face, like the black woman’s, appears pensive or altogether void of any expression.

Notice that for both women, I do not claim that they are looking directly into each other’s eyes or faces. I feel that it is too ambiguous to decidedly tell, since Vallotton does not provide a fully frontal view of either woman. The white woman’s eyes even appear totally closed at first, and only upon further inspection does one realize a small sliver of eyeball. I think that Vallotton instilled this ambiguity on purpose.

Despite this obscurity, we can still identify that this painting is all about contradiction, oppositions. How very modernist.

One woman is white, the other is black. One woman reclines, the other is seated upright. One woman is clothed, the other is nude. One woman exudes strength and vitality, the other is languid, suggesting possible illness. The only point of intersection between the two occurs at 1) (possible) exchange of gazes and 2) physical overlap of the white woman’s feet with the black woman’s backside.

Yet despite the clashing of the content, this painting is still harmonious. Perhaps there is a certain balance in chaos, no?

Bear with me for the final thought on this piece. According to my interpretation, I can identify some form of racial power play in this painting.

Screenshot 2017-09-18 11.51.17After I was done oogling over the pretty colors, I found that I was somewhat surprised at the set-up of the figures. The black woman, physically elevated and gazing downwards at the white woman. The black woman’s skin pulsing with vitality while the sickly white woman meekly returns her gaze. This strikes odd for an early 20th century painting.

Let’s get situated here: It’s 1913 in France. France still has control of a majority of its African colonies. North, West, Equatorial, East African regions- you name it! To depict a woman of African descent not just equal but suggest a superior stance and aura to a white woman was out of the ordinary for a 48-year-old European white male, to say the least.

Let’s also keep in mind that only 50 years prior to this, Manet painted Olympia. Here, the power play is far more reflective of what the actual racial relationships between white and black women resembled at the time. Like in Vallotton’s work, the white woman is nude while the black woman is fully clothed. The black woman also stands up and is ultimately taller than the reclining white woman on the canvas.

olympia

Olympia, Manet, 1863

It’s the same, but drastically different.

Here, the black woman is in a subservient position; she is the white woman’s maid or personal servant. Although fully dressed, the black woman’s body is obscured by frothy cloth and a sprawling floral bouquet. Her body is shrouded and does not attract admiration for its beauty or strength like Vallotton’s. She is merely a background actor, existing only to fulfill the white woman’s desires. Furthermore, the directions of gazes are telling of the relationship between the women. Olympia stares directly out of the canvas to engage with the viewer, while the black woman looks attentively at Olympia, perhaps offering the bouquet or waiting on further orders.

I much prefer Vallotton’s depiction of racial relations to Manet’s, but what bothers me is not knowing why. Why would Vallotton depict a relationship which, historically and sociologically speaking, was extremely uncommon to experience in the early 20th century? What is he trying to say?

Some claim that he was depicting a lesbian relation between the two. Although this may be true, it did not strike me as such when I looked it over. In any case, I would like to believe that the message goes deeper than the lesbian affair, and does indeed aim to comment on racial relations.

What do you think?

De toute manière, Vallotton vaut le coup. 

Header Image: Félix Vallotton, La Blanche et la Noire, 1913

Woman on the Vertical

Elegantines dans un pre

Eglantines dans un pré, Ferdinand Hodler, 1884

Danielle and I spent a great deal of time standing in front of Eglantines dans un pré (Rosebush in a  Meadow) (1884) by Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler. As we squinted at the Hodler, she introduced to me the idea of associating verticality with masculinity. That had never occurred to me before.

This verticality is manifested not only in the shape of the canvas as a whole but in the vertical nature of the subjects depicted in the painting as well. Here we see thin green reeds sprouting from their patch of pasture ground, elongated towards the sky. Dainty swabs of white and pink tones pepper the grass blades and grace the canvas with flower buds. On the upper left-hand corner emerges a noticeability phallic shape, further solidifying the connection between vertical direction, erection, and the masculine.

Man is upright, man is a straight hard edge, man is erected. But enough about men and their penises, it’s time to bring light to another narrative.

Using Danielle’s claim as a jumpstart, I suggested its sister idea. That is, the link between horizontality and femininity. Again and again throughout art history, we see women compared to landscapes. Their sensuous curves parallel distant soft, rolling hills and undulating earthy surfaces. Think Mother Earth. Woman and nature, woman and sweeping landscape. Even if we distance ourselves from speaking directly on Hodler’s piece by taking away the element of landscapes and focus instead on pure vertical and horizontal form in general, my contention still holds. The woman AND the horizontal, the woman ON the horizontal, the woman AS the horizontal itself. Clothed or nude, in ecstasy or slumber, she lays down.

She is plastered against the ground, pushed against the earth, flattened down down down. Think Ingre’s Odalisque, Cabanel’s Venus. Stretching from the 16th to 20th centuries, this has continuously been the case. 

Not convinced? I challenge you to find at least 10 oevres relevant to the art historical cannon from before the 1960s that depict men on a horizontal.

Tricky, isn’t it? That’s because you just don’t see men depicted laying down very often (unless it’s a wounded soldier or Christ’s descent from the cross or something). Much less nude or in ecstasy! It is far more common to see them triumphantly erect, proud, chest puffed out. If you were to conduct the same search for women, however, countless results arise.

All you have to do is Google search “reclining nude” to see what I’m talking about. Although the search does not specify gender, most of the images that pop up will be of women’s mostly naked bodies.

Screenshot 2017-09-17 22.06.13

This whole vertical/horizontal man/woman ordeal connects to a wider dialogue concerning the gender binary and gender roles. To me, it is evident. Men stand tall. Women lay down. The social, political, and economic hierarchy among the sexes is manifested in the depiction of their body language in the paintings I reference. The evidence is scrawled all over the history of artworks.

The woman is physically suppressed, her realm is one which you can look down on, stare at without consequence of confrontation, she is in a submissive pose, at your disposal, at the mercy of the gaze. The male gaze. The world is her oyster, and the oyster is a spoiled marine mass shoved into a miniscule, gnarled shell.

To add a contemporary peg to this train of thought, I found a work by the Guerrilla Girls to be relevant to what I am expressing. The Guerrilla Girls formed in 1985 as an anonymous activist group that aimed to expose gender discrimination in the art world. Their 1989 work Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? is pretty self explanatory once you read the message.

g girls

So, not only is the depiction of the woman in this perpetual suppressed position sexist, but the practices of some of the very institutions that display the art are also sexist. 

SEXCEPTION! Oh wait. Well that didn’t quite translate the way I’d hoped.

Well sheesh, who knew that discussing a Hodler would lead to such an intense art historical analysis of sexism? Certainly not me! But honestly, I’m here for it. What about you?

Words of parting: The woman deserves a place on the vertical, so let’s place her there already.

Header image: Guerrilla Girls, Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?, 1989

 

 

Home away from Home

I came home from home. I’ll explain.

Traveling is different every time, even if it’s to the same place. I picked out my flight snacks at good ol’ Trader Joe’s: dried mangoes and trail mix. As I hurriedly jammed by snacks into my already bulky carry-on the morning of departure, I noticed an extra third plastic baggie full of Läckerli cookies. My dad must have noticed how much I liked them for dessert yesterday and packed them for me. Of course, once I got to snacking on the plane, the Läckerlis were the first to disappear.

Nine hours of flight from LAX to Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands, an hour flight from Schiphol to the Geneva airport in Switzerland, an hour and a half train ride from Geneva to Fribourg, and finally a fifteen-minute drive to reach Marly. So yes, traveling to Marly is quite the time commitment, to say the least. But every minute of those tedious travels are validated the instant I embrace my grandparents.

mappy

Map of Switzerland’s major cities 

My eyes scan their figures, searching for their distinct features that have become so comforting to me.

If my grandma were a color, she would be dark red. My grandma wears her maroon dress. It is sleeveless and shoots straight down to below her knees. In the light, the dress reveals subtle glints of gold thread carefully arranged in sinuous line motifs. She has kind, searching eyes that squint when she smiles, and the apples of her cheeks flush red and plump up to match her pleasure. For as long as I can remember, my grandma has used hot rollers to style her hair. The curly dark auburn cloud crowns her head and crunches softly against your cheek when you hug her tightly. She sports tan sandals decorated with rhinestones, but not the kitchy kind of rhinestones. These ones are tasteful and look really good on her. As usual, her toes are painted a wine red, a symbol I have inexplicably come to attach to a symbol of femininity.

Encased in the red dress is a robust and energetic body, a quality given away only by the bare limbs that emerge from under the fabric. Her arms and legs are bronzed, spotted and scratched up. This is a body that, from a young age to now, has worked for hours under the sun tilling soil, lifting weights. My grandma’s hands can be just as robust with the hoe as they are delicate with the needle. Also from an early age she meticulously sewed, embroidered, and pinned. There are many golden bands of metal around her fingers, and precious stones are embedded in some of the rings. Silver and pearl earrings dangle from her earlobes. A delicate chain of gold runs down her neckline, featuring a light blue Australian stone that adorns clavicle. My grandma has few wrinkles, which is impressive given she just turned 84, but the wrinkles that do exist are pronounced and unapologetic. Yeah that’s right, I’m a wrinkle, what of it?! Besides, wrinkles are cool. They’re a sign of a life well lived, one lived with vigor and emotion.

If my grandpa were a color, he would be blue. My grandpa wears a muted blue, collared short-sleeve shirt. Lighter bands of blue shade run horizontally across the shirt. He pairs the shirt with a pair of dark blue work pants. Although not obvious at first glance, thin trails of sky blue vertical lines reveal the pants are actually pinstriped. [He folds his pants up neatly once by about two inches. Shirt tucked into pants as always, all held together by a braided brown belt. My favorite part of his classic fit is the navy socks enclosed in brunet leather huaraches sandals.

The fingers on his right hand are bandaged, evidence of his ceaseless activity in wood and metal work. His hair is streaked grey and white, the occasional tuft sticking straight outwards from the cranium. The cowlicks are extremely endearing. A clear plastic ear piece cradles his left ear. His smile is impossibly sincere. Just like my grandma’s, his wrinkles are defiant and demonstrate vitality rather than wilting flesh. He has a lighthearted bobbing gait, often accompanied by sweeping hand gestures when he talks. His trusty blue LA baseball cap accompanies all his excursions, an emblem of where his three American granddaughters reside.

My grandmother’s ringing singsong laugh. The way my grandfather tears up at both greetings and goodbyes. Some things never change.

It is these consistencies that allow me to unravel my packed clothes, exhale a deep sigh of relief, and roam Swiss towns as if they were truly my own. Rediscovering their idiosyncrasies instills in me a sense of inner peace. A home away from home, if you will.

Header image: Panoramic shot of old town Fribourg, Switzerland

Art Pilgrimage

Attention friends, family, and my millions of fans worldwide: I have officially embarked on an art pilgrimage. Three weeks, four destinations. It’s going to go like this: Switzerland, Venice, Paris, Amsterdam. The goal is to travel to beautiful cities, visit major museums, experience some groundbreaking artworks, and I don’t know, be wow-ed! Joining me on this journey is Danielle, my close friend from school who also studies art history. Together we will discuss and analyze the heck out of the pieces we encounter at the Venice Biennale, Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Musée du Quai Branly, Musée d’Orsay, and Van Gogh Museum, to name a few. But don’t be fooled! Just because these institutions are hot shots in the art world doesn’t mean we will shy away from voicing our approval or critiques alike. We have been trained for this all year, and now we are eager to put our art historical skills and knowledge to the test. Stay tuned for future posts about museum experiences and art historical discourse.

A Manchester Masterpiece

Watch Manchester by the Sea. I feel comfortable making such a bold demand because I can confidently place this movie “up there” on a mental list of fascinating films.

If you’re the kind of person that prefers to go into a movie without prior knowledge and opinions to taint your thoughts, then stop right here.

__________________________________________________

manchesterAlright, you’ve been warned. Here goes!

Turns out that I am unsure where to start because of all the sub-themes and emotions buried in the layers of this film.

Casey Affleck plays Lee Chandler, a taciturn Bostonian custodian who gives off an initially funky vibe. The first few minutes of the movie are mostly silent: Lee shovels snow, Lee watches TV alone, Lee goes to a local bar, Lee gets in a fist fight at the bar.

What is this guy’s deal?

Lee’s backstory is revealed in the peppering of back-flash snippets during the two-hour stretch. Yeah, I quickly changed my mind about him.

Unrestrained display of raw moments lends this film its poignant emotional punch. There is no shying away from showing agonizingly awkward silences between uncle and nephew or panic attacks induced by frozen meat.

I’m no expert but I think it’s safe to suggest that Michelle Williams qualifies for an Oscar nomination. The scene in which she encounters Lee near a general store parking lot left me speechless.

screenshot-2017-01-04-17-01-21At several points in the film, Lee is shown driving quietly alone. There’s nothing to it. Nothing interesting happens; he just drives and occasionally uses the turn signal.

Such familiar slowness reminds me of French film style. Perhaps this could annoy an impatient viewer, or make the film seem unnecessarily drawn out. But I appreciate these scenes because it makes the story seem more down to earth. Ordinary people don’t simply cut from one location to the other, driving must happen in between. It provides for a more fluid narrative.

So I have to disagree with critic David Eldestein, who calls the film draining (but also worth seeing). The slowness is actually refreshing. Lee still goes through the daily motions of life. And quite frankly it helped me relax between intervals of such intense emotional tension. These moments coupled with Patrick’s comic teenage shenanigans keep the movie fresh and lively despite the dark subject matter.

screenshot-2017-01-04-17-02-41I am far more in sync with the Chicago Sun-Times’s claim, “What a miracle of a film. Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan delivers the cinematic equivalent of a great American novel. Casy Affleck and Michelle Williams give career-best performances… If this film receives anything fewer than 10 Oscar nominations, it’s an injustice.”

Again with the French film style, the movie ends with an indefinite resolution. Gosh, everything about this movie is frustrating yet genius at once.

I juggle with my interpretations of some characters- Lee, Randi, and Patrick in particular. I was so quick to make judgement calls about them. He’s insensitive, she’s uptight. The film progressed to unravel their stories that shattered by initial judgements. I was proven gravely wrong about each character with each new bit of information revealed about them. I took this is a lesson I should apply beyond the movie.

I think I’ve decided on the “meaning” of this film; but I’ll probably change my mind tomorrow, and then change my mind again the day after that.

screenshot-2017-01-04-17-01-21This is exactly what constitutes a masterpiece though. It sticks with you long after you’re no longer in its presence.

So please, in case I have not made myself clear: watch. the. movie.

 

The Wonders of Vesta Minor

Vesta Minor crawls with dinosaur life forms, bulbous plants oozing with jelly consistency, fast growing fungi, massive fish with dragonfly wings. You know, just the usual.

screenshot-2017-01-03-00-30-21Scavengers is the most impressive animation I have come across in a long time. The eight minute clip featuring alien life forms and fantasy landscapes was released this Christmas Eve. The clip immerses viewers into an other-worldly (heh, literally) experience and introduces an entire cast of 2D and 3D animators.

Although many artists worked on the animation for Scavengers, at the core it remains the brainchild of Charles Huetter and Joseph Bennet. The two wrote, directed, animated, and created background art for the piece.

screenshot-2017-01-03-00-32-12screenshot-2017-01-03-00-32-45My favorite scene (2:00): a mushy yellowish egg is slit open. The severed egg reveals a plush, fleshy blue interior. Nestled inside a crevice of the lush aqua womb lies a naked alien form in fetal position. He awakens, blinks, stares. He climbs out of his nest and navigates the slippery surface. His body begins to shrivel and wither as he ages. He tugs on a few juicy levers, sighs, hoists his fragile body back into a crevice, shuts his eyes. End scene.

The Vesta explorers’ mission is never resolved in the film. The animation closes with a sudden shift to a city scene brimming with pigeons, construction workers, old men milling about, a hipster on a bike, dogs on their daily walks, baby strollers.

Although I am unsure of what the purpose for this sudden shift really was, I can sure speak to how I interpreted this. After being immersed in the strange wonders of the planet writhing with inexplicable organisms, the abrupt cut to the “real world” allowed me to contemplate how very peculiar life on our own planet is.

This makes me think of a scene from the movie Boyhood when Mason asks his father

“Dad- There is no, like, real magic in the world, right?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know, like, elves and stuff. People just made that up.”

“Well I don’t know. I mean what makes you think that something like elves are more magical than like, like, a whale? You know what I mean? I mean, what if I told you a story about how underneath the ocean there was this giant sea mammal that used sonar and sang songs and it was so big that its heart was the size of a car and you could crawl through the arteries? I mean, you’d think that’s pretty magical right?”

“Yeah. But like, right this second, there’s no, like, elves in the world right?”

“No. Technically, no elves.”

Charles Huetter’s vimeo brims with his personal projects. I join others in finding that his animation resembles that in Adventure Time or the Amazing World of Gumball. I find this especially true for Tonk’s Island, in which he designed all of the backgrounds.

screenshot-2017-01-03-00-57-03

The Jump

His first LNWC film, The Jump (2013) is probably my favorite of his clips. One of his clips, Every Night, strikes me as similar to work done by animator Joseph Bennet. The hairy creature teetering on gangling legs in a dark forest both repulses me and draws me in. It’s an awkward limbo position between fear and curiosity of the animal.

Bennet’s vimeo clips are consistently more disturbing, uncomfortable, and twisted that Huetter’s. Donna features a (demented) older woman disrupting and abusing animals while cheerfully chattering about nothingness and giggling right along.

screenshot-2017-01-03-00-53-30

Donna

A chubby boy shoots down a sparrow in taKE ME TO THE OTher side. The sparrow proceeds to compliment the human on his aim, chirp a little song, excrete waste, and laugh manically.

Anonymous Mortician begins with an yellow-toothed balding man assuring viewers “I’m not a necrophiliac, is that okay?” Totally normal disclaimer to make before launching into a story. Not concerning at all.

Bedtime Stories with Abraham Willosby Episode I and II hold an unsettling quality as a wealthy elderly fellow shares “bedtime” stories of betrayal and death without resolution, after which he enjoys a hearty laugh.

Generally, I enjoy short films created by multiple animators more than individual clips. I find that the stories serve a purpose beyond crafting a surreal experience that unsettles viewers, as seems to be the point in much of Bennet’s solo work.

Short animation films are definitely underrated. They have a certain punch that a two hour movie could never quite possess. Perhaps its the pressure to emit a meaningful message under a time crunch. Maybe short animation films place the aesthetic quality of picture on equal footing with the plot. Whatever it is, I like it and I wish more of it was readily available and circulated.

screenshot-2017-01-03-00-59-31

Background from Tonk’s Island