26 June 2017

Alice Cohen

I just discovered the work of musician and artist Alice Cohen (through Edge of Frame, which is a great source for finding interesting video-related stuff)
Her video work incorporates collage, which as I understand was the first medium she worked in. If you can call collage a 'medium.'

"white woman" music video for broken deer from alice cohen on Vimeo.

This music video  she did for another artist reminds me of an animation called "Transformation" that I grew up with (I wrote about it here) and maybe that's why I like it. It gives me that feeling that collage really is inexhaustible. Collage is always interesting not just to look at but also to think about in theoretical terms; since it is often created through intersections of different materials, different contexts and different cultural references, it is interesting to read the collaged whole through the contradictions that exist within it. If you take just one section of a collage and ask the question 'where has this piece been taken from?' and then keep doing that for other sections, and then think about the answers in relation to each other, you can come out with a really curious result. And of course in moving image all of that is complicated still further by the narrative/ sequential element involved in the presentation of the collages.

... And then there's Alice's music. Pink Keys is a wonderful album - the soundtrack to an adventurous and sun-soaked summer road trip. The first track reminds me somewhat of The Wake, probably because of the vocals. It sounds like Carolyn Allen sang on Pale Spectre and this track in the same day, it's that same register of singing about doom and gloom through a paradoxical veneer of optimism and playfulness.

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