Exhibition Reviews | Visual Arts

On The Boundary: OUT/EX

In February, Salt Lake witnessed the inauguration of a new monthly film series, OUT/EX, presented by The Pickle Company’s Artists-in-Residence, Loaf-i Productions, in collaboration with Lost Media Archive. Hosted by Nobrow Coffee (in the former Kayo Gallery space) on the third Saturday of every month, OUT/EX will alternate each month between outsider and experimental film from around the world to bring a broad palette of rare and unconventional cinema to Utah residents.

Tyrone Davies, of Loaf-i Productions, was encouraged by the first screening. “Our last show was pretty well attended and I got some really positive feedback both in person and via email after the show,” he says. Showing film and video in a coffee shop may be unconventional but Davies views it as an opportunity. “Sometimes people can absorb new and unusual works better if they are not forced to sit in a theatre and focus solely on the film. At NoBrow, they can get Coffee or a snack or move to another corner and talk quietly if they need a break and then come back to absorb the rest of the program.”

Davies, a Salt Lake native who studied Theatre at the University of Utah, has spent the past two-and-a-half years in San Fransisco, where he did freelance film and video work and created several films of his own. While there, he founded Loaf-I Productions, an organization of musicians and filmmakers living in various cities and towns across the U.S. “By developing and popularizing a low-fi aesthetic,” their mission reads, “Loaf-I hopes to cut through the compost of corporate media to help artists and audiences cultivate provocative and inspiring styles of expression.” Loaf-I produces the Free Form Film Festival, a traveling festival of live music, multimedia performance, installation, and quality film of all genres, which is one of the main curating forces behind OUT/EX.

OUT/EX will screen two types of film. The first, “experimental film,” Davies describes as “basically the kind you would see in an art gallery. ” He references Avant-Garde filmmakers like Stan Brakhage, and Bruce Conner, both of whom though considered “filmmakers” employ many techniqes and modes familiar to those interested in “video art.” OUT/EX hopes to carry on this tradition of experimentalism with their screenings.

OUT/EX’s second category of interest is what they call “Outsider” film and video. “This is stuff that is normally unusual by accident,” says Davies. “Some of it is made by people who are untrained, some of it is really terrible and some of it is really terrific. Some Outsider work is actually made by professionals who got off track somewhere.” Many of the “Outsider” films are provided byThe Lost Media Archive, a Utah-based collection of mondo/ kitch/ cult/ ephemeral/ experimental/ historical/ obsolete/ forgotten/ unearthed audio-visual and textual documents, founded by Blair Sterrett.

March’s OUT/EX screening of outsider clips will feature ephemera from religious television programs (a preview can be seen in the video above, which contains religiously sensitive material). Davies realizes that many of the clips will provide fodder for a good laugh, but he thinks they will also be “sociologically insightful.”

Though OUT/EX may screen a couple of feature-length films during the year, they will concentrate mostly on collections of shorts, which will allow people to “take breaks if they are not used to the more challenging fare,” Davies says. “[Nobrow Coffee] is a nice environment just to hang out in, so I feel it’s a good way to get some otherwise unlikely crowds hooked on the fare.”

So, whether you’re hooked on caffeine or celluloid, NoBrow Coffee (315 East 300 South) may be the place for you every third Saturday of the month. Screenings begin at 7:30 pm and are free (donations are greatly appreciated).

OUT/EX is Designed to raise the bar of experimental cinema. The series will culminate in a final award show, hosted by the Pickle Company in February 2007, with a $500 award presented to the best film of the series as decided by audiences and a panel of industry professionals.We are currently accepting submissions for this series. For submission guidelines and more information, please visit www.freeformfilm.org.

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