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  • 1859
  • When Worlds Collude
  • Fred Worden: "...modern masters at mid-career"
  • The After Life
  • Here
  • Everyday Bad Dream
  • Throbs
  • North Shore
  • Time's Arrow
  • One
  • REVIEWS of Fred Worden Films:

    Michael Sicinski, Green Cine Daily, NYFF 07' Views 3. Following up on his first and second pieces on the Views from the Avant-Garde sidebar of the New York Film Festival , Michael Sicinski focuses on five "modern masters at mid-career." Oct 25 2007

    Fred Worden's films have distinguished themselves over the years with their ability to provoke a unique ocular agitation while exhibiting bone-dry humor. His inkwash animations, such as Automatic Writing (2000) and The Or Cloud (2001), play on the spatial terms available through basic drawing, such as density and fragmentary depth. These films turn brushstroke or the individual calligraphy of the painter's hand into scenarios for anxiety and, eventually, systematic breakdown.

    In his recent digital works, Worden has reintroduced concrete imagery in order to reduce its power of signification. In 2005's Here, a static proscenium and the horizontal drive of costumed Hollywood knights combine and alternate to enfold space and pin down the would-be actors within it. Worden took a bold step towards an aggressive, almost primal formalism in last year's Everyday Bad Dream, a flickering, clanging, semi-abstract animation that moved from the eyeball out and locked onto the frightening face that banality seldom shows you. That piece was a mean comic gem that grabbed you by the lapels.

    His 2007 selection, North Shore, once again moves in a new direction. A confounding pool of viscous semi-images against jet-black, the video flickers to generate opposing, symmetrical forms which become complementary receptacles for one another's oozings. Soon, spots and slashes cut away at the vast black expanse, and eventually Worden is hitting us with a full-tilt barrage of viscous semi-forms, some horizontal, like liquid spills across an eye-level coffee table, some vertical and pendulous, like motor oil pooling around an elongated, amber-colored disc. These forms mutate and flow, always flickering by so quickly as to prevent any actually visible motion. Tiny shifts of light glinting across the black field are the only hints that objects are there. Incomplete concentric circle-slashes, like the stains left by the bottom of a coffee pot, swirl and evaporate as well. Is Worden taunting us, seeing just how little solidity is necessary for the human brain to perceive an on-screen form? Although far less scathing than Bad Dream, North Shore is a throbbing, shimmering mirage that bears its own traces of a deep nightmare logic.