Projections in Heaven | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Projections in Heaven

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A diverse program of videos, some perversely erotic, others strong and austere. Siebren Versteeg's wonderfully minimal Line and Sci-Fi (1999) comment on how we've converted nature into culture. In the first, the word LINE appears upper right on a solid blue screen; one wonders if there's something wrong with the VCR hookup until a bird suddenly flies by, transforming the video blue into a twilit sky. The second opens on a bluish white haze; as we gradually pull back, it's revealed as the earth seen from space--then as an image on a Bic lighter. In Congratulations, Piotr Tokarski intercuts found footage of elderly men onstage, basking in applause (added by codirector Usama Alshaibi), yet stripped of any context it becomes a bizarre comment on meaningless celebrity. With Neil Diamond Parking Lot (1996), Jeff Krulik continues the exploration of fandom he initiated with Heavy Metal Parking Lot; this time around he and John Heyn conduct amusingly bland interviews with Diamond fans. Shawn Durr's Meat Fucker (1999), one of the kinkier offerings, pairs a closeted gay man with his meat-loving roommate. The closet case is openly vegetarian but secretly jerks off in a tub full of hot dogs, while the roommate pours meat sauces all over himself and his girlfriend before fucking. The film's ending, in which the repressed man begins to passionately kiss his roommate, doubles as a campy homage to Kenneth Anger's early gay classic Fireworks. Also showing: work by Alshaibi, Kristie Drew, Tom Palazzolo, Matt Marsden, Doug Lussenhop, and Justin Krohn. 90 min. Heaven Gallery, second floor, 1550 N. Milwaukee, Saturday, March 24, 8:00 and 10:30, 312-409-3890.

--Fred Camper

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