Micheal Ballou usually acts as host, orchestrating and videotaping the proceedings and, when appropriate, showing his own short, low-tech, fuzzy-edged videos. (They're shot in Super 8, camera-edited and then taped while being projected on a wall, sometimes to live music). This exhibition presents 15 films, in a contraption that demonstrates Michael Ballou's whatever-it-takes ingenuity.
For this exhibition in the gallery, the interior of the space is filled with what Ballou calls his "Multiplex", his peculiar version of the multi-screen cinemas that have become so prevalent in America and elsewhere. A wooden stand atop an office chair in the middle houses 3 monitors and dvd-players; extending (and seemingly bursting or erupting) from each monitor was a large, slightly tapering wooden box, similar to a megaphone's shape, with the wider part facing out to the audience. The whole assemblage is eminently practical, and indeed many of Ballou's projects have an air of can-do practicality.
It solves the problem of how to show three videos simultaneously at close quarters; as you ducked your head into one of those elongated boxes you were essentially alone with the video. Still, this practical apparatus functions as an impressive sculpture in its own right, at once crisply orderly and springing outlandishly in 3 different directions.
Another way of perceiving it is as a mutant version of a home entertainment center.
The projected films range from silly to amusing to hilarious to charming. Michael Ballou has a light but distinctive touch and a wonderful feeling for life's little moments of absurdity and beauty, both found and conjured.
- - verberg extra tekst