Boring Angel, screenshots, HD-music video, 4:20 min., 2013 © John Michael Boling & Oneohtrix Point Never
SITUATION #78: John Michael Boling & Oneohtrix Point Never, Boring Angel, 2013
8 April – 14 May 2017
The music video to Boring Angel, directed by John Michael Boling, recounts a simple yet dramatic life story condensed into four minutes. Its narrative form, however, is radically new: instead of using the familiar (text-based, photographic, audio-/visual) narrative framework, Boring Angel utilises a stream of emojis driven along by an instrumental song by the Brooklyn producer Oneohtrix Point Never. A world of disappointed smileys and broken hearts unfolds, minimalistically presented in the middle of a white background. Initially, the symbols appear small and lost on the screen, as if transported from the digital realm of our smartphones to the display of a medium foreign to them. But soon, the sequence in which they appear, set in time to the accompanying minimalistic track, generates a huge emotional intensity. Rather than relying on the expressive nature of photography, Boling employs a pared-down visual language, the emotive power of which captivates and transfixes the viewer.