~ William Kentridge ~

The Art of Poetry Film with Cheryl Gross: Martha McCollough

When I fall in love I fall hard. Such is the case with Martha McCollough. Recently Dave Bonta posted Break & Remake, one of Martha’s outstanding video poems. Not wanting to review something that was so close to having been published, I went to Vimeo and checked out her other work.

The other night I went to the opera and saw Lulu by Alban Berg with sets by William Kentridge. I love opera, but the main reason why I went was to see Kentridge’s sets. His use of typography, animation, and black and white imagery (drawings and video) was outstanding and set the tone for the time in which it was written. It was DADA (my favorite art movement) in its entirety. I felt like I was there in the 30s right before the fascists dubbed all experimental and political art Degenerate. I won’t go into critiquing Lulu. It was an amazing moment.

The real star here is Martha McCollough. Her use of type and collage allows us to enter into a world of pop culture, oppression, and high art. Much like Lulu, her flawless use of movement captures that wonderful feeling of nostalgia. To me, Martha is timeless.

I will not single out one piece to analyze and critique. I think the entire collection of videos should be watched. In viewing the progression of Martha’s work, I have found an artist who understands the marriage of video, illustration, fine art and poetry.