“The Split House” by Annie Poon

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Center Street in Provo is swiftly becoming the happen’est locale in Mormon arts. Pioneer Book has been hosting the monthly Mormon Lit Discussion Group and, more pertinent to this post, Writ and Vision has been hosting some great events and filling its gallery with provocative art.

Opening next weekend: Annie Poon.

Not being in Utah, I can’t speak much to the show (though I’ve seen the catalogue and it looks swell), but Annie gave me access to her new short film playing at Writ and Vision so let’s talk about that, shall we?

TheSplitHouse_00

It’s just under five minutes long and, thematically, strikes me as a cross between “Runaway Bathtub” and “Annie’s Circus“—and certainly it shares with those films its surrealism. (Aside: I don’t mean surreal, as it often seems to be used today, in the sense of Dalíesque—but, as Breton said, from the position of believing that “pure dreaming . . . is not inferior to the sum of the moments of reality.” All three of these films engage in a fluidity associated more with dreams than the empirical world, and all three of them find their truths through breezing past the strict requirements of realism.

Annie’s cut-out animation encourages viewer identification with her characters. Their ink-on-paper simplicity also connects us to childhood. While with “Runaway Bathtub” this connection is explicit and unbroken, even the “adult” characters of “Annie’s Circus” or “Split House,” by virtue of their medium of presentation, are as safe to identify with as a child. We haven’t all been owls, but the childlike innocence implicit in even her most dangerous characters, makes them as easy to identify with.

As the title suggests, “The Split House” includes various instances of characters splitting. When the woman transforms into an owl, for one. Here are two more: Continue reading ““The Split House” by Annie Poon”

Mormons at the Met

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I’ve long wished that opera spoke to me on more than a purely appreciative, intellectual level. I wish I could say, like Glen Nelson, that

for me opera is serious business. I have always responded to it viscerally.

Of course, he has an advantage, having grown up with opera, whereas I have to learn opera. And the best way would be to attend operas. Which I can do locally, but holy smokes opera is expensive. If opera dies, this will be the reason: that the uninitiated have to spend soooo much money to become initiated. So I suppose the nouveu riche looking for cultural acceptance will join the club, but the poor will stick to novels and Saturday-morning cartoons. Continue reading “Mormons at the Met”

Couple-Creators: Annie and Kah Leong Poon

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The Poons leaped to the top of my long list of Couple-Creators whom I eventually intend to interview for this series the second I found out Annie was married and to an important photographer. Somehow, the idea that she might be married had never occurred to me (sometimes it seems like all of my favorite artsy Mormon women are single). Then, shortly thereafter, Randy Astle invited me to interview them as part of the special New York edition of Mormon Artist. I said yes. Continue reading “Couple-Creators: Annie and Kah Leong Poon”

Theric’s Comix Survey, Revisited

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Last year this month I surveyed all I knew about Mormon Comix (defined quite broadly) (and using a spelling some took issue with). This month (and in subsequent Augusts) I will briefly review three of my favorite Mormon Comix read since 2008’s write-up.

Anyone aware of my reading will note some obvious names missing from this post’s lineup. Nothing on the Ric Estrada I’ve read (they’ll wait for the conclusion of my series of posts on the man) nothing on Jake Parker (I’m waiting for my ARC of his upcoming book, though you can check out his work online if you’re anxious), and nothing about some very worthy webcomics (I’m learning that I still prefer my comics on paper–I’m sure tech will catch up with my needs eventually, but 2008/2009 was not the year that happened). If you would like a bibliography of sorts, check out the original post and, equally importantly, the accompanying comments. (Note: Because WordPress is pretty much the worst thing ever invented, accompanying images will all be clumped at the end rather than placed appropriately.) Continue reading “Theric’s Comix Survey, Revisited”

A Survey of Mormon Comix by Theric Jepson

When I asked Theric Jepson to write a bit about Mormon graphic novels, I didn’t expect that he would launch a full on bibliographic project. But he did — and even though the results make for a very long post, it’s very much worth a read. Indeed, it’s quite the amazing project and must have taken quite some time to put together. Thanks, Theric. ~Wm Morris

I’m also going to make you click through for the full post because the “more” tag seems to be causing some problems with the special formatting for the post.

Continue reading “A Survey of Mormon Comix by Theric Jepson”