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SUPER DYNAMIC ACTION GO!


by Jerome Weeks 1 Jul 2009

What’s interesting about SUPER DYNAMIC ACTION GO!, the current exhibition at the Fort Worth Contemporary Arts gallery — interesting, that is, to us media-cubicle-zombie types with our shameless need for fresh online content — is that the curator involved, Joel Kiser, is a grad student in Texas Christian University’s art department.

CTA TBD

It’s a familiar enough high-low, East-West, future-now interaction these days: gallery art,  pop culture, robotics, dystopic sci-fi, pulpy comic books.

You get the picture: The Terminator Conquers Hiroshi Araki.

But what’s interesting about SUPER DYNAMIC ACTION GO!, the current exhibition at the Fort Worth Contemporary Arts gallery — interesting, that is, to us media-cubicle-zombie types with our shameless need for fresh online content — is that the curator involved, Joel Kiser, is a grad student in Texas Christian University’s art department.

Who makes videos.

So SUPER DYNAMIC ACTION GO! is a local art show that actually has a couple of video promos on YouTube.  And they’re not the usual “hushed footage of white walls with images affixed” or “party shots of cah-razy wine-sipping at the opening reception.” These babies convey (or “sell”) the exhibition’s general aesthetic by being tongue-in-cheek-ish movie trailers. The one above comes complete with a voiceover booming “Super Dynamic Action Go!” The background music is a cheesy, James-Bond-Meets-Astro-Boy mix with screaming horns and meaningless explosions. The overall effect is of a low-budget Japanese anime series that’s been dubbed for the American market. There’s just a little of the pop-send-up spirit of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The other trailer (there’s a third on YouTube but it doesn’t work) —

— plays like a big-budget, techno thriller (Kiser has the satirist’s cojones to make his name logo resemble Lucasfilms’). This trailer has cooler visuals and richer, more symphonic music (angelic choirs, percussive string section, tolling bells). But the weakness here is that it takes the video 58 seconds (an eternity in YouTubeTime) to get to an artist’s name or work. (For the record, the other artists involved are Dustin Wallace, Colin Morse and Yousif Del Valley.) And then the video doesn’t really have enough fresh imagery for the full, four- minute running time –without repeating. Still, these ain’t your grandfather’s gallery promos.

Finally, what’s also interesting about SUPER DYNAMIC ACTION GO! is that it’s not really a gallery exhibition inside Fort Worth Contemporary Arts. The FWCA was established last year as half of the Art Galleries at TCU (the Moudy Gallery is the other half). Part of its mission is to allow TCU students “to interact with all aspects of the planning, implementation, and staging of exhibitions within a pedagogical setting.”

In this case, that means a window.

That’s right, despite the world-conquering hypey-ness of its all-caps title, SUPER DYNAMIC ACTION GO! is window dressing. Or, if you prefer, a window installation. It’s part of this summer’s Window Space series at FWCA. Which means, like the videos, the whole East-West, high-low, gizmo-cartoon mix is emphatically compact. Instead of the discreet, thoughtful distinctions and separations of a gallery show, SDAG! is chock-a-block with references, a collective compilation, wired together, interconnected, all there.

In short, a nifty mash-up.

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  • I would encourage this blog to cover art as a media source not just a booster of the status quo. Fair coverage would include not only galleries but the movement against galleries. Not only videos promoting modern art, but the ground breaking videos like “Snake Oil” that attack conceptual art and modern art abuses. Where is the coverage of the Stuckism movement? This blog has to decide if it will be a media source that demands fair journalism, or just a promo for favorites.

    • Joel Kiser

      The artists of SUPER DYNAMIC ACTION GO! worked in a co-opted manner with the experimental agenda of storefront through the investigation of a sophisticated and flexible negotiation of the public street and the typical 1st floor retail space. The original façade installation by the group was intended to engage public space in a novel way by locating the art and architecture installation at interface between gallery and street rather than sealing it off from the public life of the street.
      SUPER DYNAMIC ACTION GO! extends this installation through the introduction of a more precise and fluid secondary interface, one charged with the purpose of fostering a marketable product referential of pop culture, sci-fi –culture, comic culture itself; creating a reciprocal relationship between high art and mass culture through a variable and fluid display of merchandise and video. Each artist contributed a piece that envisions characters and objects with both fantastical and functional iconographies. The art is painstakingly brought to life through machinist techniques, the emphasis of a plot or traditional type of story, and the manipulation of video to convey a sense journey through time and space.

      And to clarify, yes there is an exhibition inside the Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, despite what the blogger said.

      Thanks,
      Joel Kiser