Experimental filmmaker Ben Russell explores trance, travel, and psychedelic ethnographies in his highly-acclaimed Trypps film series. Conceptually organized around the possible meanings elicited by its title --including physical voyages and psychedelic journeys -- an installation of Trypps #7 (Badlands), the most recent film of the Trypps series, is presented at the next UBS 12 x 12: New Artists/New Work at the Museum of Contemporary Art
(MCA), Chicago. The exhibition runs through September 27, 2010.
Russells investigation of the relationship between early cinema, ethnography, and structuralist filmmaking results in immersive experiences that reveal an ongoing concern with cinema as a site for transcendence. His Trypps films incorporate themes of action painting, avant-garde cinema, portraiture, stand-up comedy, global capitalism, and secular spiritualism. Trypps #7 (Badlands), 2010, charts a young womans LSD trip in the Badlands National Park before descending into a formal, cinematic abstraction of the expansive desert landscape.
Ben Russell is a media artist and curator whose films, installations, and performances foster a deep engagement with the history and semiotics of the moving image. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003, and received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2008.
On September 14, Russell curates a film series during his Artist's Talk in the MCA Theater; on September 18, all seven Trypps films are screened in the MCA Theater; and on September 19, the MCA and The Nightingale co-present a special screening of Let Each One Go Where He May, a full-length film by Russell, at the Cinema Borealis.