Saw an amazing show at DAC on Sunday, the Ruba Katrib-curated Ecstatic Truth with video artists Jannicke Låker and Julika Rudelius. Whew. Rock-solid, daring curation. Two great videos. And out.
still from Running Woman
Jannicke Låker's video, Running Woman, hits you as soon as you enter the room. It tracks a woman running at night, weeping from the center of some wild mix of desperation, exasperation, and grief. It's riveting footage that feels like it's never going to end. Not for the viewer, mind you. For the subject of the piece. A bright, large floral print dress carries the woman rushing away from and into the dark night. It's like an emotional drill being driven into your chest cavity. Relentless.
While Låker's video is let loose on the gallery's west wall, Julika Rudelius's Adrift is projected onto a constructed wall in the middle of the gallery. It is contained. Visually quiet in contrast to the other video, it is no less emotionally loud. People moving together in a space, maybe a bus. Maybe not. All are exhausted, practically falling asleep or in a state of full public dozing. Dead to the world or possibly dead in the world, but still moving through it. The emotional and spiritual exhaustion is palpable, and it feels like a mirror.
A word about Ruba Katrib's gutsy curation. DAC is a nice big room. It would have been easy to have put another video for each artist in it, but it would have diluted the crushing effects of the show. Kudos to Katrib for holding back and keeping the pressure on. Fucking brutal.