A trebuchet can catapult melons and paint canisters with incredible accuracy, but wobbling fish heads present another challenge altogether, especially when attached to bodies crafted from plastic bags, duct tape and sand.
The frilly flying fish proved too unwieldy for the infamous trebuchet last night at the 8th Annual Studio Party BBQ in Spenard, but Peter Berdovsky's multi-media performance hit the bull's eye. Berdovsky, or "Zebbler" launched a series of videos on the east wall of Sheila Wyne's studio to the sound of pounding rhythms and haunting voices.
The projections began as amorphous abstractions of shape and color, but the clips grew more and more specific and tense, centering first on dance, war dance and ultimately the rituals of war and the incessant flow of time, traffic, rage, destruction and inertia.
The music melded with the visual components, sustaining an enticing beat as if to pit the impulse to dance against the impulse to stand still out of shock, discomfort, fear, who knows what.
While wandering from pure aesthetics to politics, the piece mined the underbelly of war, progress, environmental destruction and—perhaps most incisively--the news media.
The idea that the culture of fear develops through the language, imagery and ideology of fear permeates the unsettling and often beautiful work.
Check Zebbler out online, but don't miss his second performance tonight at 9 p.m. at the Kodiak Café downtown (225 E 5th Ave).