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21 Jan 2016

Background Evening Shelly Nadashi

On 21 January Shelly Nadashi will present an evening that will provide an additional dimension to her current show at 1646 Hide and Seekers by screening a collection of four different artists’ films. Each film has a connection to water and the body, and to architectural environments dedicated to the circulation of water.

Nadashi describes the films as followed:

Kenneth Anger’s Eaux d’Artifice (1953) unfolds a sequence of beautiful monochromatic images of running water and fountains, as well as a mysterious figure amongst them. The film was shot in the Ville d’Este in Tivoli, Italy. Combining images of water on the verge of the abstract, together with a moving figure, the sequences evoke the erotic and emotional nature of water, but also its main asset as a flexible element of constant movement fixed in gravity. The actress was “a little midget” Anger had met through Frederico Fellini. He deliberately used a short actress to suggest a different sense of scale, by which the monuments seemed bigger.

Peter Greenaway’s 26 Bathrooms (1985), like its title, presents a semi-documentary scan of different bathroom experiences, entirely from a British perspective. I saw this film for the first time when I was 20 and was impressed by the beauty of the imagery and the sense of intimacy created in the dialogues with the interviewees. Watching it more recently, however, made me feel slightly doubtful of the sort of “liberal” and “comfortable” attitude towards the body, which is often portrayed in it; an attempt to go against what is considered to be puritan. My favourite interviewee is still the guy who cannot stand taking a bath because of childhood war time trauma.

André Luiz Oliveira’s A Fonte (1970) is a creative portrait of the Brazilian sculptor Mario Cravo Junior and his fountain project. The act of making a collage, or the mixture between the physical character and personality of the sculptor himself, and the uniqueness of his fountain, I found to be interesting; the intersection between the monument and the man who built it. Apparently the fountain is commonly referred to by locals as “A Bunda” (“The Butt”).

Joyce Wieland and Michael Snow’s Dripping Water (1969) contemplates entirely on dripping. We see a white bawl placed inside a white background. The drops are falling into the bawl. What can be more simple than this? The soundtrack and the rhythm are monotonous and hypnotic. They evoke, perhaps, associations to medical cleanliness, or to the measuring of time. Or perhaps a crueler association, torture.