Tommy Hartung's "Lesser Key of Solomon" featured in series screening "cutting edge short films"

By Julia Morgenstern

The Peekskill Film Festival and the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA) are teaming up to present BLACKOUT a screening of cutting edge short films, on July 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. This work blurring the distinction between art, film, and theatre questions the conventions of film screenings in art galleries. While film is prevalent in the art world, this event takes a new spin on that connection. BLACKOUT will take place on the big screen in a dark theater, instead of in a traditional white box gallery space on smaller screens shared with other art. This exciting twist should shake up the way audiences take in the series of short films, which seems to fit with the goal of this screening.

“These videos were made for both the small personal screen and the large cinematic screen,” says Sarada Rauch, artist behind the “short” music video Topple, which plays with ideas of scale. “There are three main points of interest to me when seeing my music videos on a large screen with seated viewers: perspective, object and narrative.…The screen itself can be considered an object that has the ability to shift perspective."

 The title of the series, BLACKOUT, comes from the theatrical convention of turning off all of the lights between scenes to allow for a transition. “In this moment of media blackouts, political corruption, and widespread violation of human rights; revealing hidden narratives through the arts continues to be of the utmost importance,” says Michael Barraco, curator of BLACKOUT and Director of Education for the HVCCA.

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