edge of doom

review by Eduardo Villar for Clarín


Possible routes.
Some pearls of the biennial

There is much to see and discover in this fifth edition of BIM. There are more than 200 works offered to the viewer by the menu of this digital edition and more than 70 artists from different continents. The list ranges from well-known Argentine artists such as Ana Gallardo, Silvia Rivas and Florencia Levy, to some completely unknown here, like Yanyun Chen, from Singapore. So the aesthetic and poetic diversity is vast. Exploring these two hundred audiovisual pieces, it is possible to find very simple but forceful and effective works, such as We Are Still Alive, by the Brazilian group Janelas disobedientes, which –without images, only with audios– records the protests from the windows and balconies of San Pablo for the expressions of President Jair Bolsonario about the coronavirus pandemic.

But there are also works of great complexity, such as those by Delgado and Testoni, Mokotomoro and Gustavo Galuppo reviewed in these same pages.

It would be a shame, in the possible routes of this extensive diversity, not to notice two pieces. One, „Lejía“, by the Argentine Mariela Yeregui. Another, “Edge of Doom” –which could be translated as “on the edge of disaster” -, by the Austrian-Canadian duo of Michaela Grill and Sophie Trudeau. The video “Bleach” shows in the foreground the hands of a woman who sprays disinfectant on a sweet potato, an onion, a lemon, and then rubs them obsessively, repetitively with a cloth, in a kind of ritual that –one intuits– is fulfilled daily in millions of homes around the world since the pandemic began. „It is almost a‘ hygienist mantra ’based on antiviral conflagration actions on food, rhythmizing a temporality that reconnects me with my interior space but also with an outside that carries viruses,“ the artist declares.

„Edge of Doom“ is a gem composed of scenes that Trudeau and Grill took from the silent film, taking advantage of their expressionism to address the emotions that emerged during the months of confinement: fear, discouragement, despair, pain. The piece is as short as it is beautiful and powerful.


UPDATE: New screening date December 2nd!

UPDATE: Due to new lockdown restrictions this screening has to be canceled. Sorry!

Very honoured that cityscapes is part of this Viennale, Österreichisches Filmmuseum and sixpackfilm retrospective „Recycled Cinema“:

Wednesday 04.11.2020, 21:00, Austrian Filmmuseum

Shred, Scratch, Sync

blowfeld, Rainer Gamsjäger. AT, 2004 / LOSSLESS #5 & #3, Rebecca Baron, Doug Goodwin. US, 2008 / cityscapes, Michaela Grill & Martin Siewert. AT, 2007 / Twelve Tales Told, Johann Lurf. AT, 2014 / Freude, Thomas Draschan. AT, 2009 / She Puppet, Peggy Ahwesh. US, 2001 / A Movie by Jen Proctor, Jennifer Proctor, US, 2010–12 / Technology Transformation: Wonder Woman, Dara Birnbaum. US, 1978–79 / Kopierwerk, Stefanie Weberhofer. AT, 2020

The art of reclaiming and reworking found footage exploded into previously unimaginable dimensions with the invention of digital technology and its tools for image manipulation. „Shred, Scratch, Sync“ explores the consequences of this new vocabulary of special effects: channel combiner, curves, fill, exposure, linear wipe, noise, triton, set matte, venetian blinds, limiter effect, minimax, fractal noise, digital glitch, chromatic aberration, blur, de-noise, glow, sharpen, convert, plane to sphere, rotate, motion blur, bicubic sampling, transform, directional blur, drop shadow, fast box blur, gradient ramp, offset, find edges, mosaic, tint, invert, gaussian blur, 3D channel extract, depth matte, ID matte, EXtractoR, IDentifier, bilateral blur, reduce interlace flicker, compound blur, directional blur, smart blur, blend, compound arithmetic, remove color matting, shift channels, broadcast colors, change to color, color stabilizer, equalize, PS arbitrary map, vibrance, kernel, fit to comp width/height, scale, reduce noise, alpha, Bezier warp, bulge, corner pin, displacement map, liquefy, magnify, mesh warp, mirror, optics compensation, polar coordinates, reshape, ripple, smear, spherize, transform, turbulent displace, twirl, warp, bend, blobbylize, flo motion, griddler, ripple pulse, slant, smear, split, tiler, angle control, 4-color gradient, beam, cell pattern, checkboard, eyedropper, paint bucket, radio waves, ramp, scribble, stroke, vegas, write-on, glue-gun, light sweep, luma key, advanced spill suppressor, keylight, matte choker, roto brush, mocha shape, add grain, bevel alpha, color emboss, posterize, texturize, threshold, block load, burn, burn, burn… (Jurij Meden)