PHOENECIA - ECHELON MALL : FILMS

Smother (Phoenecia's Alternate Score & Edit)
Directed by Luis Gispert
Score & Sound Design by Phoenecia (Joshua Kay & Romulo Del Castillo)

From the New York Times review:
"A boy lies on a trampoline, clutching a boombox to his chest. Gradually the blue tarpaulin turns a sickly green as he empties his bladder. “Smother,” a riveting new 26-minute film at Mary Boone Gallery by the New York artist Luis Gispert, explores the relationship between this 11-year-old chronic bed-wetter, also depicted in the photograph at right, and his domineering mother. Like “Stereomongrel,” Mr. Gispert’s 2005 film collaboration with Jeffrey Reed, it follows a precocious pre-adolescent’s odyssey through a perilous adult landscape - in this case 1980s Miami (where Mr. Gispert was raised).

“Smother,” which has a script by Mr. Gispert and the artist Orly Genger and a soundtrack by the experimental duo Phoenecia, is the throbbing, flamingo-pink heart of Mr. Gispert’s two-gallery show, at Mary Boone and Zach Feuer. With its tropical palette and episodic magical realism (which might be too real for some animal lovers), it can seem less like a film than a tenuously linked series of Mr. Gispert’s stills. Dialogue is sparse, and as melodramatic as a telenovela’s. The camera lingers over the spectacular stucco-mansion setting, which Mr. Gispert has aptly described as “narco-nouveau-riche.”

At Zach Feuer Gallery, a sculptural installation echoes the film’s lurid scenery. Photographs of truck interiors, racing-striped walls and high-gloss, heart-shaped speakers put forth a Miami version of the hot-rod-inspired art that emerged in 1960s Southern California. - Karen Rosenberg

Notes:
The alternate score & edit is a remixed version of Smother including parts that were omitted from the release version. An alternate reworked 20 minute version of the score for Smother appears on Phoenecia's "Echelon Mall", a collection of works for art & film. "Echelon Mall" is scheduled for release in March on Schematic.

Links:
Mary Boone Gallery page:
http://www.maryboonegallery.com/exhibitions/2007-2008/gispert/index.html
Zach Feuer Gallery page:
http://www.zachfeuer.com/luisgispert_2008.html
New York Times review:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/25/arts/design/25wart.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=zach+feuer&st=nyt&oref=slogin
Artnet Magazine review:
http://artnet.com/magazineus/reviews/davis/davis2-15-08.asp
New York Sun review:
http://www.nysun.com/arts/dislocating-dreams/70863/
Phoenecia:
http://schematic.net & http://schematic.net/phoenecia

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PHOENECIA - ECHELON MALL : FILMS

Josh Kay

Films scored & reworked by Phoenecia on their full-length album, Echelon Mall.

http://schematic.net/echelon

About Echelon Mall:
Although Phoenecia's Echelon Mall is the culmination of 5 years of exhibitions and film work, the project did not begin with…


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Films scored & reworked by Phoenecia on their full-length album, Echelon Mall.

http://schematic.net/echelon

About Echelon Mall:
Although Phoenecia's Echelon Mall is the culmination of 5 years of exhibitions and film work, the project did not begin with their first commission, rather the moment the first revision was requested. Realizing that useful limbs were bound to be severed, and conversely, that music for film needs to undergo additional surgery to become good listening music, the artists tucked the idea of Echelon Mall away for safekeeping, adding bits and pieces as time passed. The sources could hardly be more diverse, one is a soundtrack for the opening ceremony for a fantasy play-land for children created by a group of toy makers, one is a film about Hispanic low-rider bicycle gang members battling one another with witchcraft, another is a starkly futuristic 5.1 installation with visuals interactively generated by the soundtrack itself, and then there's a 2 hour performance where the artists remixed, at random, sounds from 2,500 Christmas records. The result is a surprisingly fluid piece of work that plays like a contiguous, mood-driven soundtrack. Some tracks sit at the near end of biological chaos, some closer to clean & structural reason, nevertheless, each song seems to narrate a different chapter from the same story, never straying too far from the central theme. Echelon Mall is for the most part beat-less, but by no means is it ambient, it nimbly traverses the gaps between electro-acoustic, musique concrète, industrial and noise, all the while rarely reminding the listener that they are listening to electronic music. All of this makes it difficult to categorize, but not difficult to listen to, and though it seems well aware of it's influences, it's just too awkward a child to sit comfortably beside any well established genre, camp, or collective. So if we must, we'll just call what it is, an album of visual accompaniments translated into song form: cinema for the ears.

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