Selective Memory

A multimedia installation deconstructs the cinematic close-up.

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  • FACE TIME Best is caught on camera.

FACE TIME Best is caught on camera.

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5


At the outset of Brian Rogers and Madeline Best’s minimalist performance-art work Selective Memory, the sound designer (Rogers, perched at the side of the room at his laptop) allows us a glimmer of text. Embedded in the electro-mlange, snippets like “It has to do with experience, with your emotional responses to the world” surface and then vanish into silence. For the rest of the hour-long show, all we’re permitted are variations on feedback hum. Unaffected by the drone, Best—standing in front of a white, curving scrim with her head behind a giant rectangular screen—shifts her weight, rotates or simply stands stock still. The entirety of our entertainment, then, is the enormous projected image of her face as Best (camera controller hidden in one hand) becomes both furtive cinematographer and passive subject. By turns meditative and annoying, this study of one woman’s microexpressions asks a great deal of patience from its audience. It also, though, gives us a lovely, radiant space to think in: If you can allow your own mental rhythms to slow to match the performance, you may find a strange sort of refuge in the event’s glacially constructed blankness.

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