We took the ferry over to Governor’s Island last Friday evening for a night of art films showcased by New Art Dealers Alliance at their third edition of NADA House. Amidst other groups of art lovers sprawled out on picnic blankets, we settled in on NADA’s lawn to watch the short film collections as dusk fell upon the island.
New Art Dealers Alliance, or NADA, is a collaborative group of professional artists working on contemporary art and hoping to foster a community-oriented dialogue throughout the art industry. Some of their goals are to make contemporary art more accessible to the public, and to nurture growth of emerging artists by opening doors to new opportunities. NADA House, their installment on Governor’s Island, does exactly that. From May 8th to August 1st of this year, NADA House showcases “gallery presentations in over 50 rooms in three neighboring turn-of-the-century colonial revival buildings” and is open to the public. This year’s collection focuses on the complex colonial history of Governor’s Island, through auditory, sculptural, and traditional visual artwork.
Their film program last Friday featured video screenings from artists Alejandro Almanza Pereda (anonymous gallery), Michael Portnoy (anonymous gallery), Tako Taal (Patricia Fleming Gallery), William Scott (Creative Growth Art Center), Laida Lertxundi (Emma Leigh Macdonald), Rose Nestler (Projet Pangée) and Evan Mast (Brackett Creek Exhibitions). The first film was a parody of medication TV ads, taking more than a few dark turns. The second was an eerie montage of trash, appearing to be filmed in a single take, and ended on a still shot of a motorcycle. The third film, “On the Meaning of Gossip” highlighted how the term gossip has been used to degrade women over the course of history, through an auditory explanation with a backdrop of hands playing cat’s cradle, colorful mouths speaking to each other, and psychedelic colored flowers. The fourth film focused on a birthmark potentially becoming dangerous, and signaled time passing. The fifth film consisted of different city shots and a man dressed as Darth Vader sitting in a tree surrounded by pigeons. The sixth was a long feature of fruits balancing on a tightrope, falling either up or down slowly, reminiscent of a still life painting. Finally, the last film, “Footnotes to a House of Love” featured couples in a desert landscape and base players striking different notes.
Each film conveyed a certain tone and meaning to the audience, some more clear and rigid and others loosely open to interpretation. After the screening concluded, guests clambered back onto the ferry for the last ride back to Manhattan, their thoughts ripe with decoding the films’ messages.