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Vanessa Roveto, Excitability, 32min., 2013
Michael Robinson, Light Is Waiting, 11min., 2007
Michael Robinson, All Through The Night, 4.20min., 2008
Michael Robinson, These Hammers Don't Hurt Us, 13min., 2010
Michael Robinson, The Dark, Krystle, 9min., 2013
Queer pop cultures collide in the video work of Vanessa Roveto and Michael Robinson. Collaging delusional gossip from freak encounters with lesbian icons, or queering popular iconography through mechanical manipulation, mashups or supercuts, this evening of recent video works leaves nothing sacred, no text unturned.
Vanessa Roveto’s Excitability assembles the artist’s alleged encounters with paramours Kristen (“call me Kstew”) Stewart, Lindsay Lohan, Lilly Tomlin through homespun monologues. The hilarious recollections are thrown into question by the dystopic interstitial sequences or the artist struggling to adapt to a brutal consumerist culture.
Michael Robinson’s Light is Waiting envisions as a very special episode of television's Full House that devours itself from the inside out, excavating a hypnotic nightmare of a culture lost at sea. Tropes of video art and family entertainment face off in a luminous orgy neither can survive. All Through the Night offers a charred visitation with an icy language of control: "there is no room for love". Splinters of Nordic fairy tales and ecological disaster films are ground down into a prism of contradictions in this hopeful container for hopelessness. Tired of underworld and overworld alike, Isis (Elizabeth Taylor) escorts her favorite son (Michael Jackson) on their final curtain call down the Nile, leaving a neon wake of shattered tombs and sparkling sarcophagi, in These Hammers Don’t Hurt Us. The Dark, Krystle is a supercut, comprised of footage from the 1980s soap, Dynasty. The cabin is on fire! Krystle can't stop crying, Alexis won't stop drinking, and the fabric of existence hangs in the balance, again and again and again.
Vanessa Roveto is a writer and filmmaker. Her work has been screened at the Anthology Film Archives, Redcat and Lincoln Center, and her first book of poetry is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press. She holds an MFA from from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was a poetry fellow.
Michael Robinson is a film, video and collage artist whose work explores the joys and dangers of mediated experience, riding the fine lines between humor and terror, nostalgia and contempt, ecstasy and hysteria. His work has shown in both solo and group shows at a variety of festivals, museums, and galleries including The 2012 Whitney Biennial, IFF Rotterdam, The Walker Art Center, The New York Film Festival, Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, REDCAT, Whitechapel Gallery and MoMA P.S.1. His work is distributed by Video Data Bank and represented by Carrie Secrist Gallery in Chicago