“expo vol. iii comes a certain media consciousness – a certain self-awareness. the artists of expo vol.iii prompt us to imagine new relations between sound and image, where intimate, unsettling, breathtaking textures and spaces emerge.”
This quote opened expo vol. iii, a presentation of short student cinematic works in Granoff Center on Thursday, March 10. A cinematic triptych (both candid and aware) of the Providence Police in Downtown, Grant Strudwick’s ’19 ongoing project “Shooting the Police” started off the screening began with Grant Strudwick’s ’19. Strudwick described his piece as “an exploration of the carceral yt supremacist surveillance state, and an attempt to identify avenues through which to dismantle yt supremacy” (“yt” stands for “whitey,” or more generally, whiteness).
Each film followed consecutively, with only a black screen and a small title card at the bottom of the screen to indicate the next film. The films lived up to their media potential. Each piece, ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes, brought a new and strongly different take on what a creative mind can do with sound, image, and a combination of the two. Some were straightforward, while others played ambiguity for all its worth.
Isue Shin ’17 brought a tale of memory and loss through her 16 mm short film “Look.” “It’s a story that I wrote when I was thinking about what happens when we don’t want to forget,” she wrote in the program. “It was shot on three very cold November days in Prague, with a cast and crew that didn’t speak the same language.” Her small blurb is both art and a statement of the universality of human emotion in itself – the film’s subtlety and poise embellished this statement with expert acting and seasoned cinematography.
Felipe Di Poi’s (Brown-RISD ’18) “Conversation Between Emperor and Explorer,” an animated satirical look at power and the human race, may have been the wittiest of the night’s films. Its humor was simple to grasp and definitely funny, but it also made one think twice about the message behind: how people obsess over control and deny flaws when they wear the crown.
Pom Bunsermvicha’s ’16 Ivy Film Festival-winning short “COACH” was also part of the lineup, with incredible sound and skilled cinematography that transported the viewer to the pool and into the water.
Through expo vol. iii, the individual pieces started to merge together into one giant work of art – leaving us in the audience glued to the single projector screen in Martinos, quietly contemplating the meaning of art in our everyday lives in the few seconds between each feature. I started to wonder if each member of the audience, involved in a production or just a lone spectator like myself, was part of the art, taking meaning out of every second of the experience like I was, even wondering if the sparse and scattered sounds of a dropped cellphone or a knocked-over water bottle was pre-planned for the exact moment it happened.