Shana Moulton and Nick Hallett's 'Whispering Pines 10' on Art21

(0)

Wake up, sleepyhead. Art21 just posted their profile of Shana Moulton and Nick Hallett's opera, Whispering Pines 10, presented by Rhizome at the New Museum in 2011. Not only do Moulton and Hallett come off as the sweetest performance artist/composer collaborative duo ever, but the documentation of this unhinged A/V opera isn't bad either.

At one point in the piece, Hallett remarked that "Shana gets all of these comparisons to a Buster Keaton or a Charlie Chaplin," which put us in mind of Brian Droitcour's 2010 article on Moulton's work, in which he wrote:

Whispering Pines blends Nickelodeon abracadabra with the consumer's faith that purchases--home decor, skin care products, self-help books--will make life better and happier. But, as Cynthia's mute bewilderment reminds us, agency lies in the objects, and the results are never what Cynthia or the viewer might expect -- like the off-brand pore-cleansing strips that conjure a singing Sphinx in the bathroom mirror. And for all her attempts to improve her life, Cynthia, like a sitcom character, registers no net change from episode to episode (a fact reinforced by the non-chronological numeric sequence of some episodes). Sure, the products aren't all they're cracked up to be, but this is far from a critique of the market and its sham promises. It's just a way to keep the slate blank for further explorations of the subject's relation to her surroundings.

Although I'm a Keaton fan, it was Chaplin's antagonistic relationship with the modern objects around him that seem particularly relevant to Moulton's work. So, since it's Friday...