Brad Loving, Video Stills for Who Cares How Long You Sink, 2007

Art Blog // Brad Loving & Who Cares How long you sink

Like a nervous, perpetually tuning orchestra, Jason Ajemian's band, Who Cares How Long You Sink, huddles close together as though about to play the last song to ever be played. Who can blame them if they're too anxious to actually play a tune. What occurs is more like the delicate hair-twirling, or thumb-sucking of a child in the corner of a crowded room. The prolific experimentalist, Ajemian chants to himself with breaking lilts and moans that sound like the waning moments of a sinking ship, wrenching under the ocean' pull.

A group of Chicago jazz musicians, Who Cares How Long You sink evokes electronic and ambience to flesh out its avant-garde, film-student sound. Momentary musical gams among sections of the orchestra remind the listener that there is fragile purpose and organized beauty here. Plucks and scrapes subtly give way to strokes and long, dissonant notes that form a recognizable measure, or two, while Ajemian holds a knife to the throat of a struggling narrative.

Video artist, Brad Loving, projects archival vacation footage on the wall behind the band. His appropriated, and sometimes filtered, stock formally mimics the music, creating a heady experience. As the band opens, singular Hawaiian flowers shudder, as though Hibiscus and Torch Gingers are forcefully voicing the sounds of each instrument. Each flower channels another instrument until the room is filled with the entire orchestra, charmingly reflected swaying bushes.

Loving takes us through heartbreaking visuals, pairing video to each musical movement like fine wine to a meal. He barely interprets, leaving both the music and the video wide open for personal exploration. A militaristic parade, a combine harvesting wheat, gleaners in a field tossing the chaff, the lurching forward of a ship deck as it cuts through the water: the subject mater is diverse, yet consistent in tone and evocation.

It becomes appropriately unclear which medium serves the other. A woman suddenly turns her gaze towards the viewer, a saxophone blurts out. The silhouettes of the band mingle with blurry, marching figures on the screen. Both mediums cooperate like passive-aggressive siblings vying for our obtuse attention.

Some of the video, original vacation footage shot by Jack Fetzer, a friend's grandfather, with the music is available on Loving's website.

 


Brad Loving & Who Cares How Long You Sink
Heaven Gallery, Chicago
Mar 24, 2007

www.birdandwhale.com
www.heavengallery.com

 

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