Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Brothers Quay

For those of you who may be fans of the horror genre  or specifically the Tim Burton genus of the horror genre, I sincerely hope that you made it to MOMA to see the Brothers Quay exhibit that has (to my knowledge) recently closed.

The Quay brothers(1979-present), who began as Illustrators / Graphic designers, eventually moved to the realm of stop-motion films producing many works, including some advertisements for such banal products as weed killer in order to keep their independent studio in operation. They refer to their agreement to produce these advertisements as their "deal with the devil".

The works of the the Brothers Quay directly gave rise to the stop motion works and aesthetic of Tim Burton.

While at the execution, I was able to view many of the original sets and puppets used by the Brothers. These objects, in and of themselves, stirred in me a powerful awe of the care and meticulous nature needed to produce items of such scale and assumed fragility. The puppets themselves exhibited a specific duality between being artfully constructed of organic materials, which, in my own mind, seemed to congeal themselves so delicately into the puppets, and the use of inorganic and thoroughly crafted props and preexisting parts.

One of the films which I viewed at the exhibition, Street of Crocodiles, was produced under one of the most oppressively, all-encompassing dark aesthetics I have ever seen. I say this as someone who myself has a very dark aesthetic and I say oppressively in a decidedly positive light, for the following reason; the aesthetic of Street of Crocodiles is one which is so total and so thoroughly permeated through every physicality of the set, character and even motions of the puppets that it does not go about existing in contrast to our world. It exists in a stasis and in relation to itself. Therefore it did not render itself as "dark" but profoundly different, and unsettling; removed from the world in which we live, which, in my mind, hearkens to a deeper sense of unsettling oddity and profound beauty.

No comments: