Since 1999, this Baltimore-based artist has gone to the movies with a video camera and shot from the hip, taping blemished bootlegs of the latest flicks. Transforming big-budget productions into casual, off-kilter video verité, his problematic work poses difficult questions and sometimes gets everything right. Shaky, blurred, and degenerated, his works combine the lovable flaws of old home movies, the perverseness of John Waters, and the conceptual twists of post-Douglas Gordonian cinematic critique. “Recordings II,” a triple bill with a program that changes daily, takes advantage of its multiplex context to create a chance para-content that links whichever three films are playing. On opening day, it had to do with gratuitous gore as The Passion of the Christ (partially obscured by the back of the seat in front of the artist) shared equal billing with The Fog of War and Kill Bill Vol.1. The day before Easter, Routson (who taped The Passion three times) showed all three of his versions of Mel Gibson’s sacred pseudo-snuff film, exploiting that movie’s own Easter exploitations. You may catch last night’s movie premiere at Team tomorrow, or a revival house oldie. See these bootlegs now: A new law will affect their legal status in June, so it’s unlikely they’ll be exhibited again.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 6, 2004