"Hansel and Gretel Re:Imagined" | MassArt Pozen Center | January 13, 2010
Video-of-video -- especially when it's Flip video of a major-scale video installation -- is never gonna cut it. That said, we had to do something to gesture at how good the Zebbler-curated "Hansel and Gretel Re:Imagined" VJ showcase was. I dunno who's holding the calendar on MassArt's Pozen Center, but liquor license or no liquor license, we suspect it's being under-used. This installation took full advantage of the room's high ceilings -- the projections were scaled movie-screen big, and bigger -- and a ceiling-mounted surround-sound system that's geared for total immersion, rather than the omnidirectional wind-tunnel of most clubs.
The concept: a retelling of Hansel + Gretel in five acts, each act interpreted independently by a different Boston-area video artist or collective. Great source material -- witches, hellfire, woods, troubled children, implied cannibalism. And great execution. The acts created by QFWFQ and Musehybrid both used video as a backdrop for a live human in a state of tortured, or rapturous, movement. The acts by former Emergency Broadcast Network dude Brian Kane and Zebbler's own contribution (with music by his frequent collaborator, Encanti) employed mammoth, integrated three-panel projections that, in comparison, make Gorillaz look like the Monkees.
Note to promoters: we would love to see QFWFQ open for a black-metal band in Allston sometime soon. Their rig is compact and brutal: an infra-red camera jacked into a laptop, which transmogrifies the live image (in this case, of a dancer interpreting the act of being burned to death in an oven) into both noise and treated video, which are then re-projected onto a screen in real time. The result: screaming white noise and virtual immolation. These folks have the number of the beast on speed-dial. Here's some more video of their performance, from the group's Vimeo account: