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    Henry Gwiazda – Claudia and Paul

    Henry Gwiazda Claudia and Paul

    If John Cage designed Grand Theft Auto, the results would be a lot like Claudia and Paul, a trio of ultra low-key, animated videos that examine the decaying velvet ropes between art and life. In this Cage-inspired micro-reality, subtlety comes into sharp focus. The two main characters in the title piece don’t do much except stand around and fidget occasionally on “quiet” city streets, where light and shadow work their understated magic on myriad surfaces. Occasional passing traffic, trash set aloft in the wind and other mundane phenomena draws attention to all of the little moments bobbing on buoys in oceans of time that transpire all around the alleged “huge” moments of our lives on the party boat. (You know, catching that touchdown pass, weeping at grandma’s funeral, oohing and aahing at a fireworks display, tossing up your cap during college graduation, crowd surfing at a rock concert, exchanging wedding vows, and all of the rest.) In this virtual world, which is the same as our actual world, random sounds become music, if you give them a chance. (All movements and sounds are tagged with floating captions throughout the DVD.)

    Henry Gwiazda Claudia and Paul

    In “A Doll’s House is…” the action moves indoors, as the title suggests, to a series of upscale apartments, including one in which a man sits quietly at a computer with a funny, hot pink, heavy metal guitar perched on a stand nearby. In this piece, all activity–both sight and sound–is ratcheted up a notch to a slightly “busier” level. Things get even more “hectic” in the final piece, “…is Consciousness,” which visually examines the question, “How would a set of eyes on the back and sides of your head, in addition to the front, affect human perception?” An amazing collage “flag” composed of slivers of some of the subsequent scenes floats above a layer cake of music from the same pieces, which take place indoors and out. One of the most memorable moments occurs in a rock club where various axe shredders emit truncated dive bombs and lone power chords. Poignantly, the next scene’s music is a chattering jackhammer. Of course, there is no climax, no drama–it’s all just an attempt to lure the viewer into expecting less, yet noticing more. From now on, every day for the rest of my life, whenever distraction fades and my surroundings become more vivid, not only will I savor the moment; ironically, I’ll think of Henry Gwiazda.

    Label: Innova Catalog Number: Innova 743 Format: DVD Packaging: Plastic case Tracks: 3 Country: United States Released: 2010 More: Film Threat, Official, Wikipedia, YouTube

    Text ©2011 Arcane Candy

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