FLICKR SET HERE.
Early yesterday Kristina Carroll tweeted that she would be meeting Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon at Parsons to see the Quay Brothers exhibit. Quay Brothers exhibit!? How could I not have known. No matter, Parsons is just five blocks away so I ran to met up with them during my lunch-hour.
Dormitorium: An Exhibition of Film Decors by the Quay Bros.
Through October 4th / Free
Set decors and projected film excerpts.
12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Thursday until 8:00 p.m.
66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street.
The exhibit consists of eleven miniature sets and their corresponding puppets. The scenes are presented in a dark room in boxes lit from within. Some of the boxes had magnifying portals to look through which not only forced you to step close into the environments but also created constant distortions and changes in focus. All in all, they are every bit as isolating and claustrophobic as the movies they were in service to.
The layout of the room, while sparse, does a good job of making feel as if you are in an encased exterior. The walls are made of black curtains. It took me a while to realize that behind the curtains were giant windows -- as clouds would come and go outside, the room would (almost subliminally) grow lighter and darker. Tall spindly lighting stands extended from the floor until they and branched out at the tops to grab the ceiling. the whole effect is like walking through a dark and wiry minimalist forest.
Excerpts from the films are projected in an alcove which not only allows you to see the sets and puppets in action, but gives the whole exhibit the same attention to sound and music as the movies. Having a chance to see some of the movies on a larger-than-television screen will mean I spend a number of lunch hours there before closing.