Video Alchemy: Works by Jerry Orr and Gary Adlestein | Chicago Reader

Video Alchemy: Works by Jerry Orr and Gary Adlestein

The cofounders of Berks Filmmakers in Pennsylvania make a rare Chicago appearance to present 16 of their videos, which explore aspects of perception through careful focus on single subjects or groups of related images. Orr's Great Adventure sets up an interesting contrast between the implied movement of an amusement-park ride and the video's rapid succession of stills. Adlestein's Witchway turns nature imagery into abstract, endearingly lush fields of color, swaths of yellow or red flowing like water across the frame. But their pieces show little development from beginning to end and lack the sort of rhythmic organization that creates visual music. And some of their symbolism—like the masturbating woman intercut with a reptilian head in Orr's Mothers Day—is so heavy-handed one suspects humor is intended.


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