(Yvonne Rainer, 13 mins., b/w, 1968)
Inside a sparsely furnished space a naked couple and a large white ball dance. After the joy of Yvonne Rainer’s actuality Rhode Island Red this disappoints. The couple reduces theirs movements to a rather mechanical level. They share space on a couch, in a room and with the ball. Passing the large white object back and forth the two create a relationship between one another. Neither looks happy or pleased to be with one another. Their actions feel like work.
At the very end of the picture, in a break from the rest of the movie, the man is seen bouncing on the couch, the ball in his hands, his genitals shaking at the top of the screen. The girl sits beside him. Her eyes on level with the ball. She can’t help but laugh. The gesture is comical, especially at the end of a rather serious film.
Art such as this suffers from its outsider stance. With one foot clearly outside the norm, but with the other foot planted squarely in reality the negotiation between the two worlds makes for difficult readings. Are these humans sharing a space or just objects, perhaps symbols?