Iíll Walk With God, 1994, 16mm film, color, sound, 8 min.

Nijinsky wept.

The first time he flew in an airplane that ballet faun and demigod was overcome - he saw this technological aspiration as an unnatural blasphemy.

Now living on velvet and walking on air every business class Icarus ascends in a reclining seat cursing the delay. The lifeless display of safety precautions enacted with such anomie by stewardesses (abstract semaphore of cheerless cheerleaders) and the explicit yet remote schematics of printed diagrams is an invitation to boredom, a yawn in the face of death.

The insidiousness of this bland reassurance coated in its mandatory command for attention coupled with a lack of urgency is to tell us that death is entirely Uninevitable or in the darkest moment can be waylaid by following proper procedures.

Flights camouflage the very medium we move in and the simple fact that every moment of life hangs in midair. The burial of this thought is rhapsodized into song in Iíll Walk With God by that heavenly creature the long since departed heartthrob Mario Lanza.

Bowing their heads in an ostrich prayer, assuming the duck and cover posture of the sacred fold our passengers are lost in transport, only the chosen elect to sit near the special Exit.

Blind faith overcomes any patch of turbulence with the conviction that lethal calamity could be the gateway to the Rapture. If life is a collision course then the terminal destination beckons to some as the Destiny and the Sacrament of the Crash. Still others demure and avert - living is easy with eyes closed... I mean it must be high or low.

For those who wish to remain in life our altitude is unknown.

As with many of his films Scott Stark is able to approach the ornaments and artifacts of mundane experience and conventional thinking to reveal both basic truths and shielded arcana. With an intelligence and imagination as piercing as it is deadpan, Stark never simply transforms the ordinary into the simply marvelous or the simply absurd. Rather he keeps the balance on an even keel through formal distillation and allowing disassimilations that open our eyes to the strangeness of the commonplace - and to humans as both keen and blunt receivers of mixed signals.

Mark McElhatten, January 2000

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