4 Films

The New York Times
June 8, 2012

Here is a challenge for fans of extremely long movies: “Modern Times Forever,” one of four entrancing motion pictures in this exhibition, goes on for 240 hours. Made by the Danish group Superflex, it focuses on a landmark Modernist building in Finland. Here rendered by digital animation, the structure is pristine at the start and slowly decays over 10 days. This represents 5,000 years of entropy.

Time is of the essence, too, in Su-Mei Tse’s “Dizziness of Life,” a hypnotic, nine-and-a-half-minute color film showing globe lights hanging from a model carousel going around and around. Set to ethereal music composed by Ms. Tse in collaboration with the composer Giancarlo Vulcano, it transports you into a vertiginous here and now with overtones of other times.

Going back in time, Luisa Rabbia’s “Travels With Isabella, Travel Scrapbooks 1883-2008,” continuously scrolls through photographs taken by Isabella Stewart Gardner of her travels in the Far East in the 19th century. Ms. Rabbia digitally excised backgrounds from the antique pictures and replaced them with skies and landscapes from her own contemporary video recordings. She also added surrealistic animations of wiggly blue lines and blobs that traverse the old photographs, all of which creates a captivating reverie of past and present.

Adrian Paci’s “Inside the Circle” is a six-and-a-half-minute, black-and-white movie of interactions between a white horse and its trainer in a round, rustic pen. The trainer, as it happens, is a remarkably attractive woman, and like the horse, she is naked. Human time dances with animal time.

 - Ken Johnson