The Fountain

James Fotopoulos's meditative video consists mostly of stills of three actresses—variously clothed, nude, or masked—so similar in appearance that their identities sometimes seem to merge. Allusive dialogue spoken by various voices (one of them computer generated) traces the outer boundaries of narrative coherence, but also contains echoes of Bergman's Persona. Some of the dialogue bespeaks the characters' discomfort within their own bodies (“Why are you cutting yourself and hitting people?”), a theme that informs much of Fotopoulos's work. While the corresponding images reinforce the theme of the body as a trap, his use of techniques that amplify video noise seem to leave room for the possibility of transcendent transformation. 61 min.

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