Joe Dark Shadow Theater: Contemporary Puppet Videos & Art is an expanded version of Joe Dark Shadow Theater, a video project curated by Jill Giegerich, S. Quinn, and Miyoshi Barosh, under the auspices of fussfactory, an art-making association based in Los Angeles that collaborates with artists to produce, publish, and promote books, films, records, exhibitions, and performances. I first saw the videos at the one-night annual outdoor short film festival Under the Stars in Landers, California (near Joshua Tree) during the weekend of High Desert Test Sites in May 2007.
After consuming many complimentary hotdogs and glasses of wine, we (several dozen guests including many artists and friends) sat down under a perfect cloudless desert night sky to enjoy a remarkable collection of one-of-a-kind works of art. While most of the original videos in Joe Dark have been included at Seminal Projects, this presentation also features a new work produced by Preston Spurlock for this exhibition, as well as two recent videos by San Diego artist Brian Dick.
The assembled artists, performers, and musicians tell tales with personal, cultural, and political significance. Using puppet styles ranging from sock puppets to traditional Japanese shadow puppets and an assortment of innovative new-style puppets in between, the videos utilize various narrative strategies to unmask the primitive core at the heart of human motivation—some comically, some with great irony. The program consists of fourteen short videos by eleven artists and runs approximately one hour and twenty minutes.
Artists include Miyoshi Barosh, Jeff Colson, David Humphrey, Jennifer Coates, Jill Geigerich, Takashi Kawashima, Rafe Mandel, Alyce B. Obvious (aka Alyce Santoro), Jon Pylypchuk, S. Quinn, Jackson Bang, nuliaj3, Doug Skinner, Preston Spurlock, Michael Smith and Bob Wiseman, and Brian Dick.
Opening night will include a special musical performance by Amesbury M.
Note: Due to their content, some of the videos in this exhibition may not be suitable for young children. Discretion is advised.
*fussfactory is an art-making association based in Los Angeles that collaborates with artists to produce, publish, and promote books, films, records, group and solo exhibitions, and performances.