We glimpse strange man-made structures through the trees. Their forms seem out of date, pointing to a future that never was. The soundtrack shifts from the ambient noise of chirping birds into something more sinister, while flickering psychedelic images take over the screen. Eventually the pastoral scenery returns and in the background we suddenly recognize with a jolt the violin from "November Rain" by Guns N' Roses. This is Michael Robinson
's short film Victory Over the Sun
, a creative reimagining of the buildings and statues left behind after several different World's Fairs, and it is an excellent example of the way Robinson freely melds pop culture references with original footage to create something new and wonderfully disorienting.
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With that particular piece on display in the S.F. Art Institute's group exhibition "Temporary Structures," Robinson visits SFAI himself for a lecture and film screening of his recent work tonight. One of the artists chosen for this year's Whitney Biennial and a former Headlands artist-in-residence, the New York filmmaker is not afraid to thrust Michael Jackson and Liz Taylor into a mythical love story via editing trickery, or to subtitle one of his 16mm films with text from V.C. Andrews' salacious novels. Experience our media landscape through Robinson's eyes and you will never look at Full House the same way again.
Michael Robinson's lecture and film screening starts Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut (at Jones), S.F. Admission is free.
800 Chestnut, San Francisco, CA