A mesmerizing, hour-long video of Manhattan street scenes will be screened free for the public at the Ayala Triangle Gardens beginning tonight (Feb. 15) at 5:30 p.m. until this Sunday. The aptly-titled “Street” by British artist James Nares is the result of a week spent driving around New York, filming pedestrians on sidewalks, in September 2011.
Nares collaborated with Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth on the soundtrack that has been described as “a rambling guitar soundtrack” and a “twittering 12-string guitar.”
By the time he started editing, Nares had 16 hours of raw footage. The actual video, when played at a normal pace, is only 2 1/2 minutes long. Instead, he stretches the video out to an hour.
No grand drama
“I wasn’t looking for grand drama when I was choosing which scenes to include in the finished product,” Nares told Inquirer Lifestyle. “I wanted the small things.”
People walking, a pigeon in mid-flight, soap bubbles floating at a glacial pace, and a cigarette butt tossed into the street.
“The movie is really about nuances. I chose scenes that fascinated and appealed to me, and hoped they would fascinate others, as well,” he said.
He seems to have succeeded in his quest, as “Street” has since been screened in New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Wadsworth Museum of Art in Connecticut, and the St. Louis Art Museum–with more venues planned.
Nares was particularly pleased with the three-month run at The Met in 2013 where he had the opportunity to choose pieces from the museum’s permanent collection made between 3,000 B.C and 1987 to be included in the exhibit.
“It was a joy to curate that exhibit. I chose pieces that I felt conveyed movement like a giant sculpted Greek foot mid-step, and a figure of a man walking. That one became like a talisman for the exhibit,” he said.
A review in the May 2, 2013 issue of The New Yorker described it as “a terrific exhibition of photographs, paintings, drawings and sculptures…which provides a canny, historical framework for ‘Street.'”
At the Ayala Triangle Gardens, “Street”—which was timed to coincide with the annual Art Fair—will play on a loop on a screen measuring 20″ x 40” twice a day until Feb. 19 at 12-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.