The Whitney Museum is currently featuring a video projection/film by Sadie Benning entilted “Pause Play.”  You enter a large, darkened room with others standing, some sitting, against the walls.  If you brave the dark open space you may be rewarded with an empty, square ottoman to sit on.

sadie benning play pauseThe projection is a series of drawings set to music.

sadie benning play pauseOverall the piece vacillates back and forth between the ordinary, the entertaining, and the tragic.  We see scenes of urban malaise: dilapidated buildings and barren landscapes.

There is an interesting interlude at a local bar, “Ze Bar.”  The night seems to progress in several stages.  First, there is the introduction: Play Pause: Ze Bar Early On

Then, the drowning one’s sorrows: Ze Bar Blues

Finally, there is ebullient celebration as the night gets older and the music at “Ze Bar” gets faster:  Pause Play: At Ze Bar

While most of the drawings are black and white, some have what looks like a colored photo filter applied. It serves to pop your attention on certain images. The soundtrack is your narrator throughout. Take, for example, the music that plays when we are confronted with scenes of storefronts, malls, and TV commercials: Play Pause: Shopping

All the clips were captured via the new iPhone Voice Recorder, in the yet-to-be-released OS 3.0 (which I have a preview of as an Apple Developer).

If you are in NYC, you simply must stop by the Whitney and see this show.  And be sure you grab an ottoman, as you’ll want to stay for the whole loop.

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