Getting Punched in the Face
Three Figures In A Room by Paul Pfeiffer
Now showing at Paula Cooper Gallery, NYC. Ends 12 November 2016.
What it is:
A boxing match, with the sound manipulated so you ONLY hear the footsteps and punches. It's like this "no music" Elvis video... except... violent. Then every two minutes, it flips between that video AND a behind-the-scenes "making of", showing sound technicians using old-school Foley techniques to re-record each footstep and punch sound (without hurting each other), frame by frame.
A second room has 3 small videos (below) - in which 1 of the 2 fighters is completely digitally erased in every frame. Below is an animated GIF I did on my iPhone, but the real thing is far smoother (and longer) in person. Stop hitting yourself.
Why it matters:
It's a play of opposites in more ways than one. Funny and disturbing, primal and high-tech, but the longer you sit, the more it becomes about boxers vs editors:
There is an extreme and intriguing contrast between the tedious hyper-perfectionism of the sound technicians that apply their skill to an event that is so extremely "in-the-moment". And as 2 men beat the crap out of each other, 2 other men laugh as they discuss each frame of sound, and rejoice when they get it right.
Paul Pfeiffer @ Paula Cooper Gallery, 521 W 21st St, New York, NY 10011-->Link
NYC contemporary art recommendations are brought to you by MFP's partner The Two Percent.
Editor's note, in addition to the Elvis video mentioned, we like the Beyoncé "Single Ladies" done Foley style.