by Liam Kenny
It was during Light Industry’s showing of William Wellman’s Good-bye, My Lady that I first saw Gina Telaroli take a picture of a cinema screen with her iPhone. I was flooded with ideas: what can be learned from pictures of the silver screen? With the technology to take photos in theaters without a long exposure, the projected image can be reimagined and digitally altered. Telaroli introduced her personal 16mm print of Good-bye, My Lady and handed out an accompanying zine (pg. 140-183) that formulated images of Wellman’s, primarily from Good-bye, My Lady. Wellman’s film is therefore translated in three ways: the digital image, the filmic image, and the printed image.
Telaroli poses these cross-medium images as a question when describing her film, Amuse-Gueule #1: Digital Destinies, “And what remains? Well, what was there to begin with?” By emphasizing the notion that one is watching a Hollywood movie—via recognition of a screen, zine, or image framed by social media—the practice of viewing images can be reconsidered. The Amuse-Gueule series, the Good-bye, My Lady images, and Gina’s many other films, projects, and social media posts request greater awareness of the illusion of fictional characters, and thereby what they are affecting in our reality. Gina unearths ghosts that both bring wisdom and an opportunity to reflect, but also present themselves in their storybook visual translucence. Strobing white pixelations erupt across multiple image planes in Digital Destinies to signify gunfire, car crashes, and chaos. Colors never present in the original Public Enemies scene reveal dazzling vibrancy in Telaroli’s source imagery and creative essence. In her work, recognizable images are made exponentially more enriching through abstract spectacle.
For over twelve years Gina Telaroli has established an artistic presence of great intelligence and care. She has remained a revolutionary reconstructor of images in her personal work and a key presence in New York City’s arthouses, programming the most exciting repertory and contemporary films in a sphere forever changed by COVID. If there is a real master of the theater experience it is Gina Telaroli, for few people can encourage community, conversation, and art to such a degree.
Liam Kenny is a filmmaker and art critic based in NYC. [Letterboxd] [Twitter]
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