Review: “MAGNUM OPUS: Resurgere Ex Cineribus” at Kickstarter HQ

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  • Anthony Piccione, New York Critic

On a snowy Tuesday night in Greenpoint, I found myself at the headquarters of Kickstarter. Objectively speaking, it’s hard not to describe this location as anything other than an unconventional location to present the world premiere a brand new short film production. However, MAGNUM OPUS: Resurgere Ex Cineribus – the new art film presented recently presented by a group called “The Void” – is anything but a conventional film, or even a conventional work of art.

Revolving around a fictional performance artist known simply as “Celine” – developed by Kate Ladenheim and Cecilia Lynn-Jacobs – this event technically begins as soon as you walk into the building. The place is surrounded by artwork and video projections on each side – one of which highlighting the diaries of Celine documenting the creative process that led to her “magnum opus”, while the other gives us an early glimpse of the woman herself. It all takes place in exactly the type of colorful atmosphere that I’m sure any art-loving Millennial would enjoy. (And I say that as one of the ones who did!)

Of course, those were merely appetizers to the main course. After a quick introduction, Celine came down the stairs from the upper floor in a dramatic fashion, with the spotlight solely on her, and after a brief dance performance, we are shown into the theater where the footage from the film referenced in her notes is finally seen. By the time of its abrupt end, the result we are left with is a rather absurdist, albeit captivating, mixture of various artistic mediums that feels both heavily layered and incredibly short, at once.

In between the live performance and the cinematic portion that follows, which take place over multiple rooms, the apparent end of this work is well before its advertised 9:30pm end time. You’re also probably best looking up Celine’s Tumblr and Instagram after the show, as the program recommends, in order to obtain even some understanding of the meaning behind of the event, as the video projections toward the beginning scrolled by rather quickly. However, it certainly left me thinking, and I always have a soft spot for events that combine film and dance – as well as excellent use of lighting – while keeping your attention from beginning to end.

If abstract, experimental art with multiple layers is not your cup of tea, then this might not be your ideal night of entertainment. However, if you’re the type of person who is fascinated by multimedia-driven performances that combine both film and live performance and incorporate elements of social media into the overall concept, then this is absolutely the type of art that you’d likely take pleasure in seeing. Personally, I’m very much intrigued to see the other works we can expect from “Celine” in the near future…

           

MAGNUM OPUS: Resurgere Ex Cineribus 

“MAGNUM OPUS: Resurgere Ex Cineribus” – presented by the Void – ran for one night only at Kickstarter HQ, located at 58 Kent Street, Brooklyn, NY, on Februrary 12th. For more information, please visit www.deargoditsmeceline.tumblr.com.