“The body is our general medium for having a world.” –Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception

A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS, a screening series curated by Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, conceived around themes explored in their collaborative film, A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (2013). The screening series is organized by Aily Nash in conjunction with EXPO 1 Cinema and EXPO 1 Colony.

Lesorub by Evgeny Yufit
1985, 11 min, video, Russia
Necrorealism, an absurdist social protest – Zombie madness and forensic chases in back woods outside 1980’s Leningrad. Death = Life! –BR

Whispering Pines 8 by Shana Moulton
2006, 8 min, video, United States
For a body stricken with ailments, for a body that has been made all too conscious of its own materiality, the promise of neo-New Age crystal-lite-healing and resonant vibrator-vibration is real.  Ritual action begets cellular growth begets actual phenomena, and the results are truly ecstatic – all dance and vomit and light. –BR

Hard Core Home Movie by Greta Snider
1989, 5 min, 16mm, United States
The fury of 80s West Coast USA hardcore punk is really just one part of a particularly joyous social contract that also involves the following: spikey mohawks, leather and studs, underage drinking, racists and anti-racists, dudes’ butts, “the fucking pigs just arrested my boyfriend,” espousing radical ideologies,  punching each other in the face and then picking each other up off the ground, smoking and making out.  Also featuring: Bad Brains!  –BR

Saint Flournoy Lobos-Logos and the Eastern Europe Fetus Taxing Japan Brides in West Coast Places Sucking Alabama Air by Will Hindle
1970, 12 min, 16mm, United States
To transpose the outer world upon your inner vision is to follow the path of the desert seer – that blind, sun-addled, glorious madman.  To see yourself in everything is to mistake everything for yourself, to see death as life is to confuse birth and murder. Stated differently: if ever there were an emotional biopic of the murderer known as Charles Manson, this would be the one – putting the death back into Death Valley, where every anthill is a Lewis Carrol rabbit-hole; a thrilling vision of a Self without borders. –BR

Utopia = No Person (2013) by Prince Rama
2013, 30 min, Skype performance, United States
Using the famous aerobics instructor Paul Eugene’s motto, “Let yourself go”, as an existential battle cry, NY artists/musicians Prince Rama’s performance focuses on the body as a vehicle for utopian experimentation and encourages its audience to undergo a confrontation with personal demons via the shedding of individual identity through the physical exhaustion of the body.  Exercise  = Exorcise.  Welcome to the Now Age! –Issue Project Room, NYC

Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore by Mark Leckey
1999, 15 min, video, United Kingdom
A timelapse VHS-glossed sky hovers over everything, stitching together three generations of UK party-dancers into a single ecstatic body.  They rise and fall with the same legs, sweat runs down their face, exhaustion bobs their slow-mo head – it’s not just the drugs in their veins that keep them moving.  And disco-dancing and hand-waving and smoking and breaking and roller-skating and raving.  And moving.  One beat pulses through us all. –BR


Please RSVP for this event to events_ps1@moma.org