The art world and art community oftentimes come off as a group overly didactic intellectuals whose heads are firmly lodged in between their scapulae because they’ve traveled that far up their own asses. Big, silly words and movements and concepts are thrown around like any other common noun and intentions are blurred behind a painted veil. The Gallerina is a little film that speaks to this idea of an art person wrapped up inside of concepts that it all just ends up looking (and sounding) like heady mush. The conversation becomes irrelevant because what the fuck are you saying?? This is what The Gallerina attempts to answer.
The film is made by Aaron Rose as a part of fashion label 81 Hour’s Autumn/Winter 2012 – 2013 collection. The clothing collection is a little group of rich in texture sweaters, shirts, and dresses from the mid-priced German brand. They’re placed on model Annabelle Dexter-Jones who is the beautiful but serious title character. This “gallerina” is a gallery assistant who is giving a tour of a group of paintings. Writer Arty Nelson (What a name!) creates almost claustrophobic art-speak for Dexter-Jones’ character to spout out robotically. If you were to push pause on her and question what she is saying it would likely cause the foundation she stands on to unravel. As you see in the video, she–in her poised, controlled way–does lose it.
The biggest player in this little film is the art. For many, you’ll instantly recognize the works: they are selected pieces from MOCA’s The Painting Factory. If you didn’t get to see the show, this is a great opportunity to take in some of the art and understand the scope of the work that was exhibited. You’ll also see a lot of clothes porn because, duh, it’s a video for a clothing label. This is a non-issue though because the clothes are quite nice: when I first watched it without getting the 81 connection, I kept commenting “Oooh: who made them shoes??” and “That dress is real fly.” Feel free to do that, too.