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Monday, 28 February 2011
Learns a new language. 45 rpm 7" Vinyl
By
Rosa Finch

Gallery three’s door slowly glides open and I overhear a wife inviting her husband to join her ‘Are you coming in?’ After quickly peering round the blacked out door he replies ‘No’. I can’t help but feel he missed out. The room is brimming with experimental and intriguing imagery. Perhaps crossing the threshold into a space of manipulation and control just wasn’t his cup of tea?

Half hour shifts in gallery three provide either a meditative opportunity or acts as an endurance test. Shane the Alsatian and the MGM lion compete for attention. Barking and Roaring. But allow yourself to be distracted by another of the ten 16mm projected films and they become merely background purrs. The whirling, vibrating of the almost redundant technology animate the space before you even acknowledge the traced painting or dove falling off its perch. Most recently I’ve enjoyed escaping for a few moments into the colourful world of a lumberjack, an athlete training or stuck in the middle of a natural phenomenon.

The line of records and row of headphones hide secrets and stories waiting to be unlocked by the audience. I switch to the green record at the end, ‘Three Felled Trees’.
                  I had a sense of knowing what was going to happen. But anticipation and suspense still grew as I listened to the recognisable chop, chopping.
A tense silence followed

(I think I might even have held my breath) Eventually the creaking escalates and you feel the tree

just

start

to

topple

over.

I experienced the sense of achievement, of satisfaction and appreciation of the effort gone into the task at hand. I grin as comical scenes, ‘you’ve been framed’ moments of a tree careering into the side of a house or expensive looking car, overwhelm my visual senses. A theme of actively avoiding a formal narrative exists in all the films, sounds and performances of Goldstein’s and ‘Three Felled Trees’ is no exception. I was left to conclude the scene. Only achieved upon removing the headphones, because of course ultimately there are hundreds of felled trees. Despite feeling uncomfortable as I listen to a couple of cats fighting in the alleyway…..my enjoyment of the headphone experience surprises me. I’m not much of a ‘sound art’ fan. Usually I’m drawn to experience and investigate visual representations. So why explore only sound? Especially when Goldstein is obviously a dab hand at manipulating and translating film to control potentially dangerous and threatening situations. Well....It encourages us to rely on our own subjectivity, giving us the opportunity to control the situation, seeing in the mind rather than the eye.
It’s just like when you read a book. Locations and characters develop into logical constructions of colours and shapes. But then it’s transformed into a film. The visual format interpreted by just a handful of imaginations often leaves you feeling disappointed.
                                         ‘Oh? I always imagined them brunette’. And I suppose logistically speaking re-creating a tornado just to film it gets pretty expensive, even with connections in Hollywood. So instead the magician/ director/ puppeteer (whichever best assimilates the role of Goldstein in his practice) sets out a process. He selects a colour associated with the moment, the scene. Proceeds to a sound bank and gets the one off records pressed. Simple and effective?

Jack Goldstein
MGM (Still), 1975
16mm colour film
courtesy Galerie Daniel Buchholz
Koln/Berlinand the Estate
of Jack Goldstein

Jack Goldstein
The Burning Forest, Two Wrestling Cats
and Three Felled Trees, 1976
7 inch coloured vinyl, courtesy
Galerie Daniel Buchholz
Koln/Berlinand the Estate
of Jack Goldstein


 

Posted by at 16:10

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