• A. L. Steiner + robbinschilds

    Date posted: December 23, 2008 Author: jolanta
    The project called “C.L.U.E. (color location ultimate experience),”
    installed in the museum’s Shaft Project Space, comprises the following:
    a series of looped videos on monitors in the closet-size gallery, with
    a driving instrumental sound track playing softly and piles of
    rainbow-dyed clothing stashed here and there; a projection, on a wall
    outside the museum, of a related video accompanied by similar music on
    headphones, beginning daily at dusk and visible through a window in the
    stairwell beside the gallery; and intermittent performances by the
    choreographic duo in the videos. The dancers are robbinschilds (Sonya Robbins and Layla Childs).
    Image

    Frances Richard for Art Forum

    Image
    A. L. Steiner and robbinschilds, C.L.U.E. (color location ultimate experience), Part I, 2007, still from a color video, 10 minutes 48 seconds. Courtesy of Art Forum.

    The project called “C.L.U.E. (color location ultimate experience),” installed in the museum’s Shaft Project Space, comprises the following: a series of looped videos on monitors in the closet-size gallery, with a driving instrumental sound track playing softly and piles of rainbow-dyed clothing stashed here and there; a projection, on a wall outside the museum, of a related video accompanied by similar music on headphones, beginning daily at dusk and visible through a window in the stairwell beside the gallery; and intermittent performances by the choreographic duo in the videos. The dancers are robbinschilds (Sonya Robbins and Layla Childs). The projection, titled C.L.U.E. Part I, 2007, is by artist A. L. Steiner, assisted by A. J. Blandford; they also shot the footage on the monitors. Avant-rock quartet Kinski contributed the music. When credits roll, the words A MOTION PICTURE hold for a significant moment on the wall, and indeed, “C.L.U.E.” creates just that—a picture in motion or a flowing series of tableaux, in which carefully wrought synchrony seems serendipitous, the physical expression of mind meld.

    Costumed in a series of imperfectly monochrome outfits (everything might be bright yellow, but different bright yellows), robbinschilds perform what they call “extra-pedestrian states . . . time-travel and psychedelic filigree.” So there they are in the videos, folded up together wearing deep blue in a desert. Dressed in pink T-shirts, undies, and sneakers, they cavort and crawl on a western road; in purple fedora with zoot-suit-ish jacket and belted vest with elfin hood, they lean together in the gloaming at the ocean. In red, they syncopate by the pay phones under a string of red lights spelling OPEN. In other reds, they wave as a train of red boxcars goes by; in white, in a parking lot at night, they perform a pas de deux under harsh lights, handing their prop—a purse—back and forth while cars and pedestrians pass in reverse, the film running backward to show how robbinschilds and the regular world are in harmony yet in opposition.

    artforum.com

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