Wednesday, 1 June 2011

38 - Local Natives (La Blogotheque)

La Blogotheque is an inspirational project. A collection of musical performances shot in a distinct manner - regularly featuring artists playing and walking - in unconventional spaces all around the world, but predominantly in Paris: Grizzly Bear in a bathroom, Arcade Fire an elevator; Yeasayer on the Metro, Phoenix the Trocadero - the list goes on. What I find so alluring, however, is the humanness contained within. Although highly professional, these films do not gleam like items in shop windows: they are intentionally left rough around the edges. We see the artists' uncertainty leading up to the performance; the relief, joy or melancholy directly thereafter. Such moments privilege the viewer a rare insight into not just the quirks, habits and mannerisms of their revered musicians; but the life of the performer, as well. A real sense of what these films are - musical moments in history, captured - is successfully conveyed through original camera-work and choice of setting. Ultimately, though, the project would be nothing were it not for a sustained engagement with the vanguard of guitar-based music. This installation - one of over a hundred - features Local Natives making their way through one of Paris' more ornamental arcades: a feast for the eyes and ears.

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