Screening in person & online
James Fotopoulos, Jim Fletcher, Christina Masciotti, Laurena Allan and Danusia Trevino in attendance
Microscope is very pleased to welcome back artist and filmmaker James Fotopoulos to the gallery for the premiere of his new video TIMON. The artist will be in attendance — along with actors Jim Fletcher, Christina Masciotti, Laurena Allan and Danusia Trevino — for this event taking place both in person and online. The work will be preceeded by a new short video by the artist titled “Faustus.“
Fotopoulos’ 52-minute feature centers around Timon of Athens — the legendary misanthrope and subject of several literary works — who lived around 400 B.C. Similar to other, earlier loose film adaptions by the artist including “Christabel" (2001) and “Alice in Wonderland” (2010), Fotopoulos considers the fractured nature of the sources, such as the disputed authorship and possible incompleteness of the eponymous Shakespeare play, as offering wider avenues for exploration into the soul of the main character.
A man not born as but one that evolved into a hater of mankind by the behavior of those close to him as he dramatically shifts between wealth and indigence, Timon ultimately resorts to living in a cave and raising an army against the city of Athens. In Fotopoulos’ work, Timon, as artfully embodied by Jim Fletcher, is engaged in interrupted monologues as well as dialogues with his girlfriend, daughter, and mistress (played respectively by Laurena Allan, Christina Masciotti, and Veronica Sheaffer). Fotopoulos’ Timon combines black and white sequences with unsettling sounds that only add to Timon’s tragedy.
The actors — whom we see reciting lines in an almost mechanical, deconstructed way reminiscent of Carmelo Bene or Straub-Huillet — seem animated and possessed by the resounding words of the classics borrowed from Richard Cumberland, Lucian, Herman Melville, William Painter, Plutarch, Thomas Shadwell, and William Shakespeare.
For the video, made in 2020 during the pandemic lockdown, the actors recorded themselves with their own camera following Fotopoulos’ indications, testing the ways in which independent cinema readjusts itself and its usual practices in order to survive in times of little human contact. The scenes were then reedited and repositioned against backgrounds composed with handmade drawings by the artist, and interrupted by additional original video footage.
Through early cinema artifices, flicker, sudden shifts from positive to negative, minimalism and deconstruction, the characters appear as though suspended in dream or thought, or stuck in a faulty selfie.
A Q&A with the artist, actors, and the audience (online and in-person) will follow the screening.
General in-person admission $9
Member in-person admission $7
James Fotopoulos is an artist working primarily with the mediums of moving image, sculpture, and drawing. Among his many notable film and video works, which range from several seconds to over seven hours are Zero (1997), his first feature which debuted when Fotopoulos was just 20, Migrating Forms (1999), Christabel (2001), Jerusalem (2003-2004), The Sky Song (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Dignity (2012), and There (2014). His works have screened and exhibited in the US and abroad including at MoMA P.S.1, Walker Art Center, Whitney Biennial, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Arts and Design, Andy Warhol Museum, Sundance Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, London Film Festival, Festival del Film Locarno, Museo de Art Contemportaneo del Zulia, Venezuela, Biennial for Videoart, Mechelen, Belgium, among others. His work has been discussed in Artforum, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Hyperallergic, The New York Post, and others. He is a recipient of a Creative Capital Foundation Grant. James Fotopoulos was born in Chicago, IL in 1976 and currently lives and works in New York.