Desert 2011

In this section of Berlowitz’s work, the transitional quality is located in the topography of space. Desert portrays a young, delicate woman walking in the sparse desert environment. Though the desert landscape lacks signifying characteristics, it is obvious her steps are intentional. At one point, she kneels and digs a hole from which a bundle is removed, she then continues on her way. Tent is a video-still. Throughout the film the camera stays static. In the center of the frame, amidst dry, barren land stands a simple tent. The flapping of material is the only movement. This movement varies in intensity according to the gusts of wind. At times going strongly, at times only slightly, and sometimes almost completely halting. The wind sets the rhythm in its contact with the bare fabric of the tent.  In choosing static photography Berlowitz works against linear-narrative concepts, aiming to reduce them by representing a static situation of a visual present-continuous. She creates a sphere striving towards a silent pole, the opposite of movement, despite the fact that the image never achieves a total pause or frozen instant. Combining the aesthetics of still photography with video technology allows examining their relationship. As the piece progresses, extreme situations of minimal action juxtaposed with random movement create a kind of mental bridge. Capturing the background noises with the image, the soundtrack contains a similar complex dialectic of reduction and expansion. The two videos seem to be corresponding with pioneering video art from the late 1960s and early 1970s; works that emphasized the dimension of time by minimizing the photographic act both in-front and behind the camera, expropriating the distinct aim and obliterating the accumulation of information and experience involved with it. In Berlowitz’s present gesture the spatial dimension is emphasized. The space is clear and dense, in its emptiness lays an endless treasure.