Chicago's Own: New Work by Zack Stiglicz

In a press handout, Zack Stiglicz says his hour-long video Bent “aspires to the . . . homoerotic-sublime,” and for once a filmmaker's advertisement is reasonably accurate. Taking gay-porn videos and Web sites as his sources, Stiglicz abstracts the images, fun-house-mirror distortions pulling the bodies into landscapes of twisted flesh. Rhythmic sex acts are intercut with patterns of moving light, which seems to sacralize these couplings, and inserted images from narrative movies suggest erotic metaphors (a radar screen appears to zero in on a penis). This is somewhat uneven—it's difficult to sustain such a long silent video with rhythm and metaphor alone—but fascinating nonetheless. In his 24-minute film Murder Will Out: Measured Silence, abstracted images are paired with spoken texts to suggest a near-death experience; like the video it has an imperfect feel, as if it favors open suggestiveness over achieved meaning.

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