Thursday, February 21, 2008

Museum Review: The Cinema Effect - part 1

Just opened at the Hirshhorn Museum: The Cinema Effect. It's supposed to explore our relationship with video and how if shapes our perception of reality and dreams and other words that make you think art.

The exhibit is a series of videos. Not short films such as you could get off YouTube. This is "art" which means "really kinda messed up". You go through curtains, which are backlit orange, and enter a dark room. Once your eyes adjust you go through a series of dark rooms showing different videos.

It starts with simple stuff such as Andy Warhol's "Sleep". "Sleep" was originally 5 hours and change of Andy sleeping. It's been cut to only 2 hours for this exhibit.

Other exhibits include:
what appears to be several minutes of random stock footage stuck together,
a train going through a series of tunnels with some narration while not in a tunnel,
what looks like every Sega Genesis landscape stuck together and scrolling down so it looks like you keep rising up and up,
bits of star falling into a lake,
a projection of geometric shapes going through a misty room (apparently one of the favorites),
a ride through an amusement park haunted house shown at half speed,
a doll with an egg shaped head and the face of a film director projected on it while he gives direction,
a line of video screens that are mostly dark except for the video that keeps running back and forth along them scattering human body parts,
a line of video screens showing footage of factory workers going home over 9 decades,
and many others

I was in a hurry so I blew through in about 40 minutes. I'd suggest you give yourself more time. Two hours should do. Three tops. I'll probably go back some other weekend.

The exhibit will last until May 11. Then they tear it down and start setting up part two which opens on June 19.

Also, the Newseum is nearing finished. The building looks awesome. You can start booking space in the Newseum Residences. The museum itself opens April 11.

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