Ben Russell will present his entire TRYPPS film series in addition to a special live double-projector performance. The series consists of six metaphorical works that strive towards a visceral, physical and phenomenological cinema for the senses. The starting point for each film ranges from cameraless film making to high contrast photography, a Richard Pryor stand-up routine to a freak-out noise show, and the neon of Dubai to the trance rituals of the Suriname Maroon tribes.
WARNING: This show contains visuals that may be harmful to those with epilepsy.
FEATURING: Black and White Trypps Number One (6:30, 16mm, 2005), Black and White Trypps Number Two (9:00, 16mm, 2006), Black and White Trypps Number Three (12:00, 16mm, 2007), Black and White Trypps Number Four (11:00, 16mm, 2008), Trypps #5 (Dubai) (3:00, 16mm, 2008), Trypps #6 (Malobi) (12:00, 16mm, 2008), The Black and the White Gods (20:00, live performance, 2008)
Black and White Trypps Number One (6:30, 16mm, 2005)
"A night sky fills with light shimmers and flecks, surface markings, heavenly bodies. It's an ocean, a well, a screen, a mirror, a portal. Blackness/void cluttered by growing ephemera. Dark reaches of outer and inner space gradually sifts through shards of granite and diamonds. The mind races as the material becomes greater and more frenetic, reaching a nearly audibly grinding pitch of excitement, flurry, and instantaneous infinity that ebbs at first and then maintains. Flashes of color emerge or are imagined. Chaotic flickering of dancing peasant girls and violently twisting astronaut helmets. Layers of sea slime over undulating life forms. Bonfires and celebration. Explosions, construction. Holocausts. Primordial ooze, modern civilization. Ages and seconds. Floating heads circle kaleidoscopic bursts of shiny beads. Everything everywhere twists, forces through, transforms into, overlaps everything else. Seashells, snow, jewels, static, planets, mitochondria, trash, leaves. Rings, flowers, stars, hair, ghosts, comets, cartoons, demons. Icebubblesinstrumentscats marblestwigsfirefliespinwheelsinsectscraters. Buzzing.Reeling…..flfkkkkk############################ #Overkill. Birth/ Death. Moment by moment, symmetrical—organized like geometry, like Muslim rugs, like math." – JT Rogstad
Black and White Trypps Number Two (8:00, 16mm, 2006)
"A fine fine example of spaces between existing as objects themselves. A patternistic and memorializing offering to natural totems. Two kinds of reversal at play involving black and white as well as reflection and overlap. These simple elements create a hurried maze of twisting antler branches, twigs, and dissected slices of pure "space." I can hear the crackling fires, echoing elk calls and frosty despair…" - JT Rogstad
Black and White Trypps Number Three (12:00, 35mm, 2007)
"...a filmic portrait of secular rapture that harks back to the great
annunciation canvases of Titian and Caravaggio." – Michael Sicinski
Shot during a performance by Rhode Island noise band Lightning Bolt, this film documents the transformation of a rock audience's collective freak-out into a trance ritual of the highest spiritual order.
Black and White Trypps Number Four (10:30, 16mm, 2008)
"Divisible stand up comedy from beyond the grave, adjust your set, rabbits ears tuned to the Bardo Plane." – Mark McElhatten
Using a 35mm strip of motion picture slug featuring the recently deceased American comedian Richard Pryor, this extended Rorschach assault on the eyes moves out of a flickering chaos created by incompatible film gauges into a punchline involving historically incompatible racial stereotypes.
Trypps #6 (Malobi) (12:00, 16mm, 2008)
From the Maroon village of Malobi in Suriname, South America, this single-take film offers a strikingly contemporary take on a Jean Rouch classic. Or: Halloween at the Equator, Lightning Bolt for the jungle set.
The Black and the White Gods (20:00, live performance, 2008)
Using a short segment of Russell's early ethnographic film DAUMË as its foundation, this double-projection performance employs a variety of 16mm film loops, hand-built electronics, prismatic lenses, and analog components to create an audiovisual feedback loop that edges steadily towards the phenomenological. With echoes of Tony Conrad's The Flicker and William Basinski's Disintegration Loops, The Black and the White Gods seeks to interrogate the possibility of representation via the abstracted field of bodily experience.
Ben Russell is an itinerant photographer, curator, and experimental film/video artist whose works have screened in spaces ranging from 14th Century Belgian monasteries to 17th Century East India Trading Co. buildings, police station basements to outdoor punk squats, Japanese cinematheques to Parisian storefronts, and the Sundance Film Festival to the Museum of Modern Art (solo). A 2008 Guggenheim award recipient, Ben began the Magic Lantern screening series in Providence, Rhode Island, and he currently teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago.