Past Public Program

Drop the Monkey, a new film by Guy Ben Ner

Artis Presents

November 1–22, 2009

New York City
Performa Hub
41 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003

Link: New York Times

On the occasion of Performa 09, Artis co-commissioned a new film by Guy Ben Ner. Filmed and edited over the course of twelve months, Drop the Monkey is a unusual “live film,” that captures an ongoing phone conversation between the artist and himself as he flies to and fro between Berlin and Tel Aviv, the respective locations of his girlfriend and his family.

Unlike a regular film, which is edited externally after all of the shooting is complete; Ben Ner’s film never leaves the camera during a twelve-month period. The film always remains “live,” awaiting the next shot, which might take place in either Israel or Germany. Ben-Ner’s “storyboard” is life itself, and each scene occurs in real time, although with significant ellipses in between. Since the only editing is done entirely in-camera, the move from one shot to the next requires a real physical move: the camera traveling the full distance from Tel Aviv to Berlin and back as the dialogue progresses.

Shot in Hebrew, and dubbed in English, the film presents a conversation in rhyme, which discusses how art can be at the service of life and the repercussions of such a unified relationship.

Drop the Monkey screened on the CNN billboard in Times Square as part of the Performa biennial opening day of events. Drop the Monkey was also on view at the Performa Hub.