The Art of Fear

With Aïda Ruilova, Marnie Weber, My Barbarian, Takeshi Murata, Jamie Shovlan, and Darren Banks
Nitehawk Cinema – October 2011
Two-part artist film screening

The infectiousness of horror cinema has spawned a generation of artists who explode conventional expectations of how horror is expressed and consumed. Hosted by Nitehawk Cinema and curated by Caryn Coleman, The Art of Fear exposes this provocative relationship between horror film and visual art in a program of video and film works by international contemporary artists who glean from the structural, narrative, and aesthetics style of horror cinema. 

Read the interview with Rue Morgue Magazine about The Art of Fear.

Ghost Stories: My Barbarian, Aïda Ruilova, and Marnie Weber
Upstairs lobby, Nitehawk Cinema | Starts at 7pm, films shown a bit after | Free admission

Surreal stories of love, life, and death are brought back from the afterlife in the bizarre and haunting works of My Barbarian (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon and Alexandro Segade; Los Angeles), Aïda Ruilova (New York), and Marnie Weber (Los Angeles). Horror affect and narrative style are huge influencers in these films with inspiration deriving from Rod Serling’s Night Gallery television series, cult figures like Jean Rollin and Karen Black, and the theatrical monstrous characters from early Hollywood.

My Barbarian – Night Epi$ode: Curatorial Purgatorial (Pilot)

2009, Single channel video, 12 minutes, Color, Sound

Aïda Ruilova – Life Like
2006, Single channel video, 5 minutes, Color, Sound

Aïda Ruilova – Lulu
2007, Single channel video, 5 minutes, Color, Sound

Aïda Ruilova – Meet the Eye
2009, Single channel video, 7 minutes, Color, Sound

Marnie Weber – The Eternal Heart
2010, Shot on Super 8 and 16mm, digital projection, 28 minutes, Color, Sound

My Barbarian’s The Night Epi$ode (2009) explores the genre of sci-fi television, linking narratives of supernatural anxiety with tales of economic collapse. These stories function as a means of addressing the speculative narratives and outright myths that drive public discourse. The pilot epi$ode Curatorial Purgatorial introduces us to the curators who are stuck in art limbo, forever on a loop discussing and dissecting art world clichés. The double-epi$ode Yoga Matt | Veronika Phoenix tell the tale of a yoga session gone wrong and return of the dead in musical revenge.

Aïda Ruilova’s Life Like (2006) features a series of tightly composed scenes (alternating between legendary director Jean Rollin’s apartment and his erotic vampire films) that collapse the distance between the onscreen action and the audience. Lulu (2007) is an identity-shifting femme fatale who changes to embody the desires of the men who fall in love with her, only later to kill them and herself.Meet the Eye (2009) places cult actress Karen Black and artist Raymond Pettibon in a one-room environment (or purgatory) that reveals as much as it conceals.

Marnie Weber’s The Eternal Heart (2010), produced by West of Rome, adopts the expressionistic aesthetic of early black and white silent movies. The pure and innocent Gothic heroine, played by Weber, is depicted in a mystical landscape populated with a menagerie of grotesque characters. The Eternal Heart marks the last  appearance of her “Spirit Girls”, who have now departed their earthly bodies. Weber reminds us that life, love, death, madness, monsters, and humans are only separated by a thin layer of reality and that this duality of a part of our existence. This screening is the New York debut of The Eternal Heart.


Pieces: Takeshi Murata, Darren Banks, and Jamie Shovlin

Upstairs lobby, Nitehawk Cinema | 7-10pm | Free admission

Horror cinema is ripe for the slaughter as Takeshi Murata (Chicago), Darren Banks (United Kingdom), and Jamie Shovlin (United Kingdom) cut, recompose, and manipulate scenes from classic (and not so classic) giallo, slasher, and B-movies from the 1960s-1980s. Through montage, these artists apply new meaning to what is familiar in horror by re-arranging and manipulating the actions and contexts of films such as The Burning (Tony Maylam, 1981), Friday the 13th (Sean Cunningham, 1980), andMask of Satan (Mario Bava, 1960). As the first program in The Art of Fearseries, Pieces is both an homage to and de-construction of this influential period of horror films.

Monster Movie
Takeshi Murata

US, 2005, DVD, 3:55 minutes, Color, Sound

I’m sure if there were a monster in the midlands we would have seen it on the telly
Darren Banks

UK, 2011, Found video footage, 17 minutes, Color, Sound

Darren Banks

UK, 2005, Found video footage, 10 minutes, Color, Sound

Untitled (Silver)
Takeshi Murata

US, 2006, DVD, 11 minutes, b&w, sound

Hiker Meat, 2009-present
Jamie Shovlin

UK, Digital Video, 77 minutes, Color Sound

Takeshi Murata  employs digital processing to create astonishing hallucinatory visions. In Untitled (Silver) (2006), Murata subjects a snippet of footage from giallo godfather Mario Bava’s 1960 Mask of Satan, featuring Barbara Steele, to his near violent digital manipulations. Similarly, Monster Movie(2005) enacts an exacting frame-by-frame technique to turn a bit of B-movie footage into a seething, fragmented morass of color and shape that decomposes and reconstitutes itself thirty times per second.

Incorporating found and self-made film footage into sculpture and installation, Darren Banks explores horror, the domestic, science fiction, defunct technologies, creation, and the unknown. In Interiors(2005), he guides the audience on a tour through the filmic trope of the haunted house while his I’m sure if there were a monster in the midlands we would have seen it on the telly (2011) features serene scenes of horror and nature films; only including moments that exist before-and-after the action goes down.

Jamie Shovlin celebrates the 1970/80s exploitation era of film and the inherent relationship between the audio and the visual within the horror genre. Originating from a rough-cut film based on imagined director Jesus Rinzoli’s vision for Hiker Meat is a sequence of events (featuring both related clips and composites of the film) divided and collaged into 64 smaller screens. A combination of fictional history and original narratives, Hiker Meat is an evolving process of exclusion, confusion, and discovery.

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