A guide to art in NYC, with families in mind.

Monday, July 11, 2011

David Michalek: Portraits in Dramatic Time

It's hot out and the kids want to stay up later and later. Who can blame them? No one can sleep knowing there is so much going on after dark. Take them to Lincoln Center, buy gelatos from a nearby cart, and view a free video entitled "Portraits in Dramatic Time" by director David Michalek. The video plays continuously every night from 8:45 to 11:45 until July 31st on a ginormous screen hoisted on to the front of the David H. Koch Theater (right next to the fountain). Mr. Michalek has photographed actors grouped together in twos and threes having conversations or watching each other as if standing on a subway platform or in a party. The video is shot in high definition at 3,000 frames per second and then decelerated to the excruciatingly slow pace of five to twelve frame per second. At first a narrative seems nonexistent, then, suddenly - well, ok, very slowly, a plot develops and circumstances become chaotic as bodies collide, drinks are spilled, and objects go flying in the air. There is no embedded soundtrack so only the sounds of city add to the drama. I found myself transfixed to the screen and mute as I stood among a crowd of others in the same state. My daughter on the other hand, thought it was hilarious and enjoyed the freedom of being able to move about and view the show unrestricted. Except for the lack of air conditioning, this is way better than sitting in a movie theater. Your older kids will have no problem getting dragged to this one. Perfect for the ones who get to stay up late. Lincoln Center, http://www.lincolncenterfestival.org