Aldo Tambellini’s “Atlantic In Brooklyn” reviewed in The New York Times

Aldo Tambellini’s “Atlantic In Brooklyn (1971-72)” reviewed in The New York Times by Martha Schwendener.
Click here to go to The NY Times article, also pasted below —

Atlantic Avenue Metro Station - Still from video "Atlantic in Brooklyn," 1971-72. Collection of the artist.

If you head to the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in Brooklyn, you will encounter the behemoth Barclays Center, with a Starbucks in it and a Target store and a Shake Shack restaurant nearby. This area was far different when Aldo Tambellini made “Atlantic in Brooklyn” in 1971. Using what was then new portable video camera equipment, Mr. Tambellini recorded the parade of humanity passing on the streets below his studio at Flatbush and Atlantic. The edited footage was first shown in 1972 on three monitors at the Kitchen, and is on view here in six giant video projections, on three walls, that run for one hour.

Everything and nothing happens in “Atlantic in Brooklyn.” People pass on the sidewalks; day turns to night. Car headlights and taillights become abstract orbs, similar to Stan Brakhage’s experimental film “The Text of Light” (1974). Yet Mr. Tambellini’s video sits on the edge of drama as prostitutes await their next john and an agitated man bristles in a doorway. This was Brooklyn in the early ’70s, and these blocks were known for their high drug and murder rate.

Mr. Tambellini captured that moment in an immersive and impressive work. Viewers may be reminded of Bruce Nauman’s “Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage),” from 2001, or of work by other expanded-cinema artists from the ’70s, like Michael Snow, Hollis Frampton or James Benning. Mr. Tambellini is not as well known in this country as these artists. His work is included in the current Venice Biennale, though — and for New York audiences, “Atlantic in Brooklyn” is an essential chapter in local and cinema history.

–Martha Schwendener