Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Notebook on Bokaer's Ulysses Syndrome

Notebook on Jonah Bokaer's The Ulysses Syndrome, part of FIAF's World Nomads Tunisia:
Tsvi & Jonah Bokaer. Photo: Benedicte Longechal.
  • Based on his father Tsvi Bokaer's Le Danseur Errant et La Méditerranée
  • Contemplative, quiet, intimate
  • Dream-like, at times ritualistic
  • Pre-verbal, animalistic movement (crawling, lying) or childlike (step-hopping)
  • Some OCD type gestures, like rubbing scalp or grabbing the floor with toes
  • Tsvi uses his scarf to blindfold Jonah, who gropes along the perimeter
  • This imparts a hostage situation feel to the work, which never entirely eases up
  • Seated as if to play jacks, one slides his ring to bump the other's, making a sharp ting; following that, they fist bump 
  • Jonah stands on one leg and cants his body forward and the other leg hooks back, creating an amazing sculpture
  • We sense that this quite private artist has let us into his personal world for a night
    Jonah, a sculpture. Photo: Benedicte Longechal.
  • 6 fluorescent pan fixtures are suspended upside down like swings in a circle
  • The two "shoot" out each light, "pew," in a humorous showdown
  • Jonah dips his hands into the river of light that takes the place of the fluorescents, and you can almost feel it like a viscous substance
  • A pile of newspaper pages sit at center; later separated and eventually hung on the swinging fixtures
  • The soundscore, by Soundwalk Collective, is a hypnotic montage of found sound and utterances

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