Phenomenal Body: New Experimental Works reviews

Chicago Reader:
The human body is fragmented and abstracted in these 11 experimental films and videos, all richly sensual and lovely to look at. I especially liked Rick Bahto’s Variations (2004), in which rotation around a face and, later, a room in rapidly flickering images suggests the incompleteness of any one image. In Angelina Krahn’s rather Romantic Pinata (2000), a whirling figure is juxtaposed with a field of white dots that suggests the night sky. Karen Johannesen’s Brakhage-like Light Quanta (2004 and Light Speed (2007) use very rapid cutting to intensify the colors of each diverse shape. Three videos by Stom Sogo combine multiple superimpositions with trance music to create an almost impossible lushness, but don’t leave one with much to think about. Johannesen will attend the screening. 97 min. Sat 8/1, 8 PM. By Fred Camper

Karen Johannesen has a way of impressing upon the humble Super-8 frame more physicality and energy than seems natural. She uses forceful single frame dances and abrupt shifts in pattern and focus to explore that fundamental subject of cinema—light. She’ll be presenting two of her well-traveled films and one world premier as part of a program she curated, which also features work by Rick Bahto, Angelina Krahn, and Stom Sogo. Bahto and Krahn both make films (16mm, Super-8 and Regular-8mm) that explore the body, while Sogo makes aggressive and colorful video work that explore the mind. Sogo says his work is inspired by his epileptic visions, and he makes you experience the intensely bright, intensely throbbing, and intensely disorienting visuals while laying on an oddly inconsistent tranquil musical track. (1999-2009, 97 min. total, various formats) JM