TALENT. Single-Channel. HD. 10:30. Color. Sound. 2009.
Talent’s episodic structure is comprised of a series of condensed acts, actions, interactions, dialogues and maneuvers, performed by a group of ten actors. Set in a dance studio that doubles as a performance venue, a white line on the floor divides the space paralleling a mirrored wall. Director and crew complete the cast, their reflected presence serves to merge modes of contest, audition, rehearsal, performance and shoot. They accompany a predatory camera which tracks laterally left to right, right to left then back again facing the mirror. The relentless reiteration of this path, foregrounds the line as a psychic divide between subjective and objective, desperation and hope. Talent is freely based on the iconic American show A Chorus Line, as seen through the lens of Dan Graham’s Performance / Audience / Mirror. Both works premiered in 1975, and share such parameters as setting the performer(s) in front of a mirrored wall that the audience faces into, and interplay between direct and reflexive modes of address. While one work is geared towards the goal of extreme alienation, the other is to the same degree directed towards extreme empathy. These clashing objectives set the stage for an inquiry into self-reflection and disclosure, competition, ambition, individuality and conformity. Objectification trumps entertainment in this presentation of self.
Actors: Christen Clifford, Mikeah Ernest Jennings, Ryan Justesen, Han Nah Kim, David Mazzeo, Paula McGonagle, Steven Rattazzi, Stacey Karen Robinson, Pete Simpson, Sonja Rzepski
Director, Editor: Alix Pearlstein
Camera: Jay Christopher King, Sarah Lasley
Production Coordinator: Birgit Rathsmann
Lighting: Andy Dickerson
Production Assistants: Frank Zadlo, Ben Finer
Production Stills: Peter Field Peck
Filmed at Triskelion Arts, Brooklyn NY
Installation View - On Stellar Rays, NYC.