Saturday, November 03, 2007

Film at 15fps - Mario Lewis

An education in Art school, culture and the West Indian Blackman

Before the performance by
Michelle Isava at Alice Yard, Trinidad, West Indies, a loop of a series of video works produced by Mario Lewis was running. These were short yet stylized pieces which reflected an artist with a working background in video and an eye for high Art. The videos shown were smooth, slick and similar to a Calvin Klein black and white television ad. With slow pans and overlays of pre-recorded footage, where elements of London's streets merged with its black inhabitants.

With the short, In Proverb, the language composed of a memory etched with imagery of a family portrait. Mr. Lewis incorporated himself in a fraction of a fired flash, which then fades to a loop of dissolved film of a wedding portrait. There is also the fascination with a golden winged arched statue captured in the still of darkness. These works have a textural feel and edginess to it, but sacrifice warmth to coldness in matching the standards of how art should look and be presented in contemporary art trends. Mr. Lewis is carefully canvasing the success of Black artists, and copying as close to where it can mislead you to whose work it is. For an instance could it mistaken for Isaac Julien. This unfortunately is a form of plagiarism by an art education driven by the motive to be recognized.

See Isaac Julien, a British filmmaker working with identities of the West Indian

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