7:52 min Single Channel 4k in loop, Color, Stereo
WITH: Adi Boutrous, Orly Adga, Amir Shaul, Amit Shemma, Israela Hailu, Guy Pitchon, Kyle Scheurich, Ortal Gola and two bouncers (names unknown).
CREW: Cinematography: Pablo Arcuschin; Camera Assistant: Ram Brandwain; Editing and Sound editing: Nadav Direktor; Sound mix: Rachid Moro; Lighting: Raanan Berger; Lighting Assistant: Yosh Ginton; Color Grading: Omri Peled; Movements: Yakir Elkayam; Styling: Ella Altmann; Stills Photographs: Maya Louzon; Assistant Director: Elinore Darzi; Assistant Producers: Zachi Raz-El, Shiri Havazelet, Michal Hagag.
WATCH PREVIEW FILE (note it is quite dark, sometimes on laptops the view is not perfect)
In Dreams was created on the occasion of the exhibition Blue Velvet, initiated and produced by Ella Weinberg and Elinore Drazi in collaboration with the Steve Tisch School of Film and Television, Tel Aviv University. It is a homage to David Lynch’s iconic film Blue Velvet (1986), as evidenced in the work’s name and aesthetic features. In Dreams is a hybrid between film, music video-clips and theatrical performance, replacing the suburbs of America with the very urban landscape of downtown Tel Aviv.
Read the full-length text by Elinore Darzi:
The work In Dreams (7:52, Single Channel, 4K, Color, Stereo), by artist Alona Rodeh (b. 1979, lives and works in Tel Aviv and Berlin, holds a BA and a MA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design) was created on the occasion of the exhibition Blue Velvet, in collaboration with students of The Steve Tisch School of Film and Television of Tel Aviv University. Characteristic to her oeuvre which focuses on sound, lighting, sculpture, photography and video installations, in this work Rodeh continues to explore phases of the clubbing and popular culture. This may be seen in her earlier works, for example Safe and Sound (1,2) (2014) which was presented at the Herzliya Museum, or her latest solo show at Rosenfeld Gallery Safe and Sound (Evolutions), (2015).
The inspiration for the work came to the artist on a wandering night in the streets of Tel Aviv, and from David Lynch’s iconic film Blue Velvet (1986), as evidenced in the work’s name and aesthetic features. In a hybrid between a film, a video-clip and a theatrical performance, the work depicts an event, or perhaps a non-event, one night in the southern Tel Aviv’s night club area. Following some particular scenes and moments appearing in the original movie, the video features two policemen in a police car, two bouncers, three passersby on a street bench and three girls dancing on a street ramp.
The soundtrack leading the theatrical sequence combines three versions of American rapper Drake’s Hotline Bling. The first is the original version, on which the latter based his song (Why Can’t We Be Together, Timmy Thomas, 1973), while the other two are cover versions of Drake's own song. The first is an instrumental track, and the latter is sung by rapper Trina, responding to Drake’s lyrics. The songs are played in fragments, and the hit tune is never heard in the film. The viewer, who may try to complete the famous chorus in his head, by doing so suggests the way he might also be perceiving the meaning of the visual world appearing in front of him with the film’s characters. Stops or pauses between the songs delays for mere seconds the constellation which is supposedly relying on the soundtrack, thereby commenting to the way videos clips are consumed on-line. The only verbal musical verse appears in the last scene, while the three girls are dancing together. Trina's singing, accompanied by the images of the girls, ends with infectious laughter, passing in turn to the laughing viewers, who are thereby contemplating on the scene and on the way their minds consume and expect an occurrence.
Together, the actors and songs appear as abstract instruments, in a film which itself is a kind of cover version Lynch’s movie.
Much like in Lynch’s films, the work produces an anti-climax in an anti-narrative film; Rodeh manages to neutralize a seemingly charged situation, in sexuality, in the interaction between the characters as well as in the story line. In almost identical three reproduced scenes, the artist suggests a delayed view on common occurrences, that which we are used to see, think, or hear, and seemingly creates a more authentic representation of the characters of our lives. This forms a strong political statement: the actors who are not playing a role shows us the moment right before behaviour creates reality. In addition, Rodeh chose not to cast actors and/or professional dancers, thus sharpening her perspective which is not object oriented, but focused on feeling and atmosphere. Diverting the common meaning, Rodeh is thereby commenting on the economy of roles and images as well as to the great possibilities in cinema.