Sunday, October 2, 2011

Black Box: Nira Pereg

Where: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

When: through November 13, 2011

As much as I dislike the Hirshhorn, I am a fan of their Black Box series of videos.  My favorite so far is "Floating McDonalds,"  but all of them have been at least somewhat interesting.  This latest offering, entitled "67 Bows" by Nira Pereg is a worthy addition to the series.

The video is of the flamingo exhibit in the Karlsruhe Zoo in Germany, and it shows them going about their day, conducting whatever business it is that flamingos conduct.  Every so often, you hear what sounds like gunshots, and the flamingos duck their heads in unison.  Have no fear, the flamingos are in no danger - the audio has been overlaid on the video, and it's Pereg's work that has made the sounds sync up with the movements.

I'm not sure exactly what message the film is supposed to convey - perhaps that you can't always believe what you hear, anymore than you can always believe what you read?  Especially in the age of image manipulation, things are not always what they seem.

Verdict: Go see this film, for the flamingo video, if for nothing else.  They're lovely birds, and their movements are well worth watching, even without the slightly creepy audio.

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