Monday, December 12, 2022

Saw Euphoria this week-end (the installation - not HBO show)

 It was ... wow! My review:

Hypnotic Euphoria at the Armory

I often go to a Park Ave Armory show on the spur of the moment. Seeing the new installation / movie Euphoria occurred in just this way. A happenstance look for something to do on a cold winter’s day lead us to the Park Avenue Armory this past Saturday.

Euphoria is an installation art piece that hooks you into philosophical piece of entertainment. 

You enter the dark Grand Drill Hall into a circular space. Surrounding the viewer are the members of the Brooklyn Youth Choir, projected in 360. Above the images of the choir are 5 large and 1 massive screen. The 5 ancillary screens show five jazz drummers which provide the music as well as the background sounds from the main screen.

The main screen flows from vignette to movement to vignette to movement etc, in a 1 hour 50 minute loop.

The dialogs are discussions about greed and capitalism, the pros the cons, the requirements and impacts of constant growth, and how this effects people. But the speaker’s words, sentences and thoughts are from history. To quote the program: 

Thoughts and musings from a variety of sources from economists, business magnates, writers, and celebrities from the likes of Warren Buffet, Ayn Rand, and Milton Friedman to Audre Lorde, John Steinbeck, Donna Haraway, and Snoop Dogg take on new meaning as they are reinterpreted as poetic monologues in real and imagined scenes of euphoric production and consumption...

And the conversations or monologues occur in spaces that are usually imagined to be pockets of hopelessness and stunted thinking. Be it kids getting high in a communist bus depot, or homeless men around a trash fire, or women working an endless distribution center or even a tiger in a supermarket – they are surrealistic spaces for an economic discussion.

But these conversations engage us and slip into our internal dialogs so easily that the situations stop seeming forced almost immediately. The viewer loses themselves in the imagery and the topics and explanations. Most of these conversations bring up thoughts that have lived in the corners of your mind – arising rarely.

I expected to be done and leave the venue well before the nearly 2 hour loop was done. But when I came to the moment I walked in, I was shocked to see how quickly the time moved. 

I was pretty much mesmerized by thoughts and images.

The show plays until January 8th. Go see it!

ArtistJulian Rosefeldt

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