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Various: "Volume 14: Middle East": Art Review 

Wednesday, Jan 19 2011
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Never mind the talking heads of journalism and academia. What do video artists think of doings in the volatile Middle East? Given the chance to express themselves by ASPECT magazine, nine artists present their counterintuitive views in a multisensory film that YBCA is showcasing. Among the best videos: Teresa Diehl's Soldiers Lebanon, where haunting slow-motion footage of military figures mixes with a collage of sounds, including church bells, a sinuous call to prayer, and the whirling of helicopter blades. It recalls sequences from Apocalypse Now. Diehl's other two videos of Lebanon, Uled Tripoli and Sabe Tripoli, are also dreamlike and poignant. Humorous passages are sprinkled in Soup Over Bethlehem, which has Palestinian siblings talking about food, passports, and more. In Domestic Tension, Wafaa Bilal describes his online video experiment, where people could choose to shoot a paintball gun at him; the month-long exercise brought him to tears. "Volume 14: Middle East" deserves widespread attention.

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Jonathan Curiel

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