In·ter·punct shares book reviews, art news, lit theory and daily musings from the intimate lives of writers. It seeks to highlight, in an edgy and sprightly fashion, the poetic moments that punctuate our lives.
The trance music takes you away from life. Looking up at the stars and the clear, blue night sky of Miami, problems are not problems.
You don't even notice that the pink tulle on the screen is moving until the second time around the loop of hypnotizing music. There are city sounds, cars honking, lights flashing, and it is coming from both the speakers and the city of heat.
This was simply laid out for experiencers.
A public park outside of a New World Symphony center. Giant, brightly colored bean bags for laying.
People came, people went, people talked, people were quiet. People were people, but this space was anything but ordinary. And this is what made it special. You knew you were in a public space and there would be distractions, so it did not at all take away from the sound vibrating in your ears. It actually added to it, because here, in such a busy hustle and bustle place, you had an oasis of meditative bliss.
Never have I felt so blessed as to be a part of an art experience.
"Until the second time around the loop of hypnotizing music"
I have no criticisms.
Maybe because after traveling all day, my coworker Jess and I were quite exhausted, and sitting here in the musical silence was a way to rejuvenate us in ways we could not have planned. Either way, art has a way of touching your spirit that you cannot buy, nor can you create in isolation.
We were all strangers in a park.
But we were all experiencing this man's effort through sound, and that is something worth stopping life for.
Molly Ringwald dancing in Pretty in Pink starts with electronic dance music made by the artist playing over it. She is whipping her hair back and forth and really giving it her all. It remixes and her dancing overlaps her dancing in a contorted way. It keeps going and going, for ten minutes. And it was mesmerizing. Our eyes just couldn’t wait to see how she would dance next. At certain points, her face overlapped her other face and it was almost as if she was becoming herself. Here, in all its glory, Molly Ringwald dancing, continuously by Jibade-Khalil Huffman.
The next segment was even more random than this, but with less power behind it. There was something about seeing Molly giving her all that enriched you with the spirit of the human will.
This next film, done by the same artist, was trying too hard to be “good art.” There were images of NYPD, and of young black men revolting. There were firefighters and cars being rammed in to. There were automatic weapons being discharged. But there was also layerings of bad graphics and unicorns, Mariah Carey, bats and SpongeBob.
This was attempting to be a statement about the race issues in America, but it fell flat by the randomness of it. There were supposedly six short films, and for whatever reason, they had no cues, or even a second between them, to let us know it was different from the last. These two artists’ work, Jen DeNike’s and Jibade-Khalil Huffman’s, blended together to become a composition of confusing.
I did appreciate the pieces of real young women drill stepping, and the more human aspects of this piece; this gave it more credibility, but the entirety severely lacked the high caliber work I would expect from Art Basel.
The sounds in this video, of people clapping, came from the video itself, not from the audience watching. We, quite honestly, didn’t know what to think.
There were words flashing, too quickly, on the screen, over backgrounds that made it difficult to read, but a powerful quote I noticed was, “Freedom as a condition of slavery.” Black people in America are still gripped and strangled with the power of the white majority that is opposing them. They are still seen as a lesser race by many in this country, and Huffman was trying to show this disparity, which is always needed and appreciated. But somehow, all the mess took away from the issue at hand, and that is unfortunate.
Then there was commentary of young man taking medicine then eating unconsciously at the fridge with horrifying music.
There were little policemen running amuck.
People were jumping up into pink clouds while Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo” was playing.
It just continued to get more random.
DeNike tried to show pictures of women from the 50s and connect it to the struggle of being brainwashed into this race war we are in, or at least that is how I took it, as I didn’t even know there were two separate artists until researching Basel’s site afterwards. At moments, it hit that target, but for the most part, it was nonsense behind classical music for an hour. I wish there was more of a takeaway from this piece, as this is a very important issue in our time, but frankly, I didn’t even know if I was watching one film or six. Disappointing, but slightly made up for by the ambience and atmosphere that is Art Basel Miami.
In·ter·punct shares interviews, expositions, poems and daily musings from the intimate lives of writers. Like the interpunct, which is a middot used to separate syllables, this blog seeks to highlight, in an edgy and sprightly fashion, the poetic moments that punctuate our lives.