Saturday, June 30, 2007

Chiho Aoshima...

Those of you who were able to see the Ecstasy: In and Out of Altered States show at the Geffen Contemporary last year may remember a few obvious highlights... The Mushrooms. The moving bench. The LSD Fountain (can that be legal?). The Golden Sphere (a la Woody Allen's "Orgasmatron"). The sprawling green light grid. And in retrospect those pieces do seem somehow spectacular, even thought the show itself left Sarah and I feeling empty and slightly cheated. One work we really enjoyed was Eija-Liisa Ahtila's beautifully understated splitscreen video, Talo/The House, about a woman becoming unglued from time and space. For me, the undisputed star of the show, the one piece that truly threw me into a deep hypnotic state (that haunts me to this day) is Chiho Aoshima's total immersion digital animation piece, City Glow. Something in the pacing and the soundtrack, the undulating cartoon colors, the buzzing insects, and the slow dollying through multiple imaginary city and country-scapes packs exactly the right psychedelic punch. Fans of Hayao Miyazaki will find much to enjoy.


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