A Frame Apart: Queens International 2016 Short Film Program

A looped screening in the Queens Museum Theater, A Frame Apart highlights recent short films made in or about Queens. At once intimately local and inexorably intertwined with the tumultuous forces of global capital, these films reveal Queens as both a muse and a battleground, simultaneously a node connecting world cities and a patchwork of insular neighborhoods.

The video program will be incorporated in to the opening celebration of Queens International 2016 on April 10th as a looped presentation as well as screened more formally at the exhibition closing day July 31, 2016 followed by discussion with some of the participating filmmakers/artists.

Participating Artists & Media-Makers: Irina Arnaut, Nate Dorr &Nathan Kensinger, Thomas Rivera Montes, Carmelle Safdie, Fernando Venegas Traba, and Xu Wang

Curated by: Prerana Reddy (Director of Public Programs, Queens Museum), QI 2016 guest curator Lindsey Berfond, and Adrianne Koteen, guest Public Program Associate.

Feature Image: Film Still Reclaimed Ground by Nate Dorr & Nathan Kensinger

A Frame Apart 2016 Detailed Program (TRT – 59:32)

Discovery of the Shape (Carmelle Safdie, 2016, 3:16)

Film Still Discovery of the Shape by Carmelle Safdie

Film Still Discovery of the Shape by Carmelle Safdie

Discovery of The Shape is the latest iteration of The Shape, a continuously evolving project that incorporates architectural proposals, site-specific installation, performance, pop music, and graphic design to imagine idealized spaces for collective audio-visual engagement.

This video presents a staged dance party in which the artist’s friends perform various roles in a nightclub scene. The footage was filmed at Downstairs 87, where Safdie reimagined the venue’s basement level bar as part of an artist residency program. Condensed into a three-minute burst of music, geometry, and partygoers at play, Discovery of The Shape details the multifaceted components of Safdie’s installation, while showcasing the interactive, social, and ephemeral aspects of the project.

The original pop soundtrack sources lyrics from the Circle, Square, and Triangle books by Italian Designer Bruno Munari (first published in the early1960s), reinventing Munari’s visual case studies through song as an update to his whimsical Modernist spirit. 

Featuring handmade props and costumes, and a stylized cast, the video transcends the physical limits of the site it documents. The production uses camera work and editing reminiscent of public access dance shows from the 1970s and 80s. This approach celebrates the glamor and energy of that now outmoded medium. At the same time, HD footage asserts the works position in the present day. The artist fashions these references into a formal structure, within which she establishes a utopian space to house her own creative community.