Filmmaker and visual artist Melika Bass’ newest work, “The Latest Sun Is Sinking Fast,” has its opening Sunday, January 18, a site-specific installation at the Hyde Park Art Center’s large Kanter-McCormick Gallery and runs through April 19. “The show has some creepiness and humor in it,” Bass says of her immersive, cinematic, multi-channel video and sound installation. The HPAC writes that the work combines “macabre and magical elements, revealing a fictional, fractured Americana.”
“The show is designed to have a circular, open narrative that invites viewers to create their own connections between characters and places.” There’s a key shift that Bass finds exciting: “My past films and installations seem to be set in a fictionalized past. This show and these films are set in a contemporary time.” There will be more to come: “The next iterations and expansions of this world will be a linear film to be screened in a theater, and a short film installation. With each chapter, episode, screening, installation, what we know and learn about these characters shifts our perception of them individually and their potential relationships with each other, as their lives begin to complicate, and intersect.” Bass continues, “It’s a very experiential show, all the elements are there, designed for and projected in the gallery, but it’s really about paying a visit, taking some time with these figures and creating your own narrative.”
“The Latest Sun Is Sinking Fast” is open seven days a week with free admission. An artist talk follows on Sunday, March 15, with the closing reception on April 19. The HPAC link is here. Bass’ website, “Tender Archive,” has background on the other parts of the ongoing project.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.