Flicker (2000)

flicker1*630*355Flicker is comprised of three distinct views of an urban, working-class locale, characterized by small interiors, a sparsely furnished, minimal decor and older, worn-down buildings, as well as by an immediate and accessible public area active with street gatherings of groups of various ages.

The first part is composed of the image of a single old woman leaning on a balcony railing in bright sunlight.  The highly fragmented sequence of her movements registers both an unusual physical imprisonment and simultaneously a willful defiance that transcends a single moment in time.  The second part consists of a mesh of window scenes shot at night, which includes a woman in a red scarf cleaning a window; an old man alone staring out into the street; a hand scooping a cat crouched on a window sill; the back of a man gesturing in an animated conversation.  The complex cross-kinetics and the varying saturated colors of the four different elements combine to extend the private space of each character within a larger and abstracted composition.  The third part depicts a group of women seated on a street bench interrupted by children demonstrating exuberant acrobatic dance motions, imitating boxing moves and performing cart wheels.  An extremely low contrast field of darkness initially yields only a small amount of visual information, opening up to longer periods of the image’s visibility.

All three segments were composed by intersecting images of the people’s movements with themselves slightly delayed, or with other figures’ motions, thereby resulting in the formation of new hybrid gestures and spaces.  Signs of captivity and confinement vs. gestures indicating escape, acceptance, resistance, all transcending and yet tied to the concrete scenes, are thus conveyed through this unique rendering — the simultaneous interruption and expansion — of spaces and motion.  The abstracted sound accompanying the piece punctuates and reinforces a continuity within the highly segmented visuals.

Special thanks to Dan Cummings for his Movie-Cracker program.