Hammer Museum’s Flux screening series marries art and experimentation

Eve Kim

If cinematic and conceptual experimentation is your thing, be on the lookout for the Flux Screening Series. A quarterly event in collaboration with UCLA’s Hammer Museum, Flux presents an arresting collective of short films and video work produced by independent, photographic and award-winning directors.

Featured art galleries are located just above the Hammer Courtyard, where an eclectic crowd of artists, students and parents gathered before the Billy Wilder Theater’s opening doors. Seating 300 attendees, the theater’s ambience sets a platform for innovation under a galactic lighting scheme that motivates travel within motion pictures.

Last Thursday’s screening compiled works exploring the bold and subtle complexities of love that hurl us towards rapture, obsession and self-actualization.

A remix video for David Bowie’s “Love is Lost” opened the series with an erotic visual climax through a multidimensional, pixelated cyber glitch. The bodies of two lovers contour, join in ecstasy and dissolve in digital foreplay. Campbell Hooper’s satirical film, “43,000 Feet,” chronicles the 3 minute and 48 second duration of John Wilkins’ morbid reflection as he ponders his death through statistical analysis, all while falling from a plane. Segue into Devendra Banhart’s “Für Hildegard” music video depicting a runaway nun who fulfills her dream as a television performer, ditching the holy habit for a microphone and dazzling dress.

Haunting, mesmerizing, and slightly terrifying, “Eager” demonstrates a symphony of flesh and nature beings. This stop-motion claymation will render your thoughts provoked and mouth gaped open. Conventional beauty standards are confronted in “Boggie,” which literally illustrates the superficial transformation of a modest-looking woman through a photoshop program. Similarly, the standard relationship dynamics of a married couple become distorted by a young prostitute in Superhumanoid’s “So Strange” video.

In “Life on Earth,” by Tomorrow’s World, we are exposed to the delicacy of school experiences, such as friendships, music class, food fights and teenage love. Ginevra Boni’s “Avalanche” narrative is telling of a young man’s existential feat when he discovers his father, who is now younger than the son, frozen under a lake. A young boy becomes infatuated with his neighbor in Bored Nothing’s “Let Down,” a story about first love.

The Acid’s “Basic Instinct” video, a commanding slow-motion visual of flight and movement, will have your focus on impulse. And at last, the series closed with “Bunion,” a man pursuing romantic acceptance of his self and feet.

Flux Screening Series for the next quarter is on May 21, 2014. Free admission.