Hotel Malaventura

At last, an explanation for the picture in the header. Its from a small video made last March or so which used animated shadows of stencils 

The stencils of the hotels on an overhead projector were combined with the helicopter cut outs and photographed, then used to make the animation.

Hotel Malaventura, the name of the video animation, is from an essay by Jameson (Jameson. F. 1998.  Postmodernism and consumer society In The cultural turn. London, Verso.). He describes the Hotel Bonaventura, Los Angeles, as an exemplar of a post-modern building, where ingress and exit are discouraged, which seeks to exclude the outside world and provide a complete environment within itself.  This sounds a bit like the ‘Hotel California’ (out of Roach Motel: ‘Roaches check in but they don’t check out’).

The video is about a perception of modern cities as dangerous places where the manufactured luxury of the international hotel contrasts with a fear of insurgency, panic and random death on the streets. It is also a reflection on the isolation and paranoia of the self-obsessed ego. The shadow of a huge, multinational, luxury hotel dominates the space, helicopters fly noisily past.

An uneasy scene; are we inside or outside the hotel? Are the helicopters friend or foe? What is going on? A low voice expresses these thoughts.  Is the action actually occurring or could it be a phantasm of the speaker’s mind? 

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