Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Tom Schroeder "The Mexican Cloud-Swing Disaster" (2006)

Way back in September 2007 I promised to review Tom Schroeder’s The Mexican Cloud-Swing Disaster. I never break a promise: I'm just extraordinarily late. Tom works at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and he enlisted some very talented students and recent graduates on his project. Three circus clowns perform their routines accompanied by an acrobat who falls to the ground. There does appear concern but little action from her fellow performers though life outside the ring, skyscrapers looming large, seems intimidating enough for them all to get back quickly despite some gyrations from the ring itself, suddenly itself metamorphosing into a dancing creature. Clearly Tom allowed his team to create different aspects of the whole, Andrew for example drawing and animating the flowered clown. Synchronised dancing and neat figure animation of the clowns are features here, the action going surreal to coincide with the more discordant music towards the close (an excellent soundtrack from Erik Fratzke). The colour scheme is extremely striking with the animated figures showcasing the collaborators' talents well. Andrew Chesworth, Victor Courtright, Julia Vickerman co-animate, the talented Ke Jiang and Sara Pocock also involved. There are shades of darkness as well as big top colour, particularly as chaos lurks just outside the tent. I featured Tom's Yellow Bird some time back. His work really impresses me.

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