Brody Condon – Future Gestalt (sample) (United States 2012, 4:40 MINS.)

Future Gestalt is part sci-fi film, part participatory performance, and part experiential essay on the history of psychotherapeutic group encounters. Set in a now antiquated vision of the far future, five trained performers robed in vivid, diaphanous costume are subjected to open-ended performative psychotherapy techniques, such as Gestalt group therapy, developed most famously by Fritz Perls in the 1940s. Tony Smith’s ‘shape shifting’ sculpture Smoke (1967), permanently installed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, acts as the elaborate set, and carnivorous potted plants as exotic props.

The performers are physically intertwined and interact directly with the monumental sculpture, which appears to embody the immaterial presence of the encounter group leader. It is unclear whether the faceted structure is an AI, inter-dimensional entity, or numinous vessel. Equally ambiguous are the origins of the characters, as each brings a distinct style of communication to the session, such as an operatic language of shrills, clicks, and whispers, or a synchronized choreography of movement and voice. Through the process of filming, unresolved tension between the production of temporary community, individual psychodrama and the precarious authority of the incomprehensible therapist creates an alluring sense of suspense.

BIO: Brody Condon is an artist based in Berlin. Concerned with the aftermath of trauma and the over-identification with fantasy in contemporary culture, Condon’s work is best known for its influence on the re-purposing of existing pop cultural material (often computer and LARP games) to create performative situations, video, and sculpture. He received his MFA from the University of California, San Diego” in 2002. He participated in residencies at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in 2004 and the School of Painting and Sculpture” in 2001.