Studio@620 The Studio@620

Staged Nature

A Film Exhibition by Christopher Steven Watkins

Christopher Steven Watkins is a video artist working mostly with experimental filmmaking in the Tampa Bay area. Taking every opportunity to capture something on film, Christopher uses gorilla filmmaking techniques and chance performances in his pieces. Staged Nature is a film exhibition premiering eight short films, the films are divided into two concepts, four films each.






Christian Ideology

Between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries across early modern Europe, there was a widespread hysteria that malevolent satanic witches were operating as an organized threat to Christendom. In fear, Christians formed a religious blockade, casting anyone who affiliated themselves with satanic behavior to damnation and hell. One aspect of this behavior was to venture into nature; that nature was the home of the devil and anyone caught going into the woods were marked as believing in Satan. The first four pieces deal with nature’s power over human behavior. Given only a few words suggesting the scene of nature each actor and actress portrays, every performance is interpretive based on their emotional and physical reactions. Painted in select sections of the body, the subjects act out characteristics of the areas of nature and mindset it can cast upon them. Each piece becomes embodied with satanic actions.

Romantic Ideology

During the second half of the eighteenth century in Europe, the romantic period erupted. Known as the age of enlightenment, this movement drew a strong reaction against scientific rationalizations of nature, thus viewing it as a way of escapism and an emotional aesthetic experience. The second set of four pieces hold the qualities of this movement's manifesto through extreme emotional behavior and reactions to nature around them. Pushing physical limits, each performance is a response to the social reforms of the period as well as portraying the movement's experiences. Draped in flowing vivid colored clothing or skin tight to show their bodily form, each subject moves freely about the scenes they are in, becoming a piece of the nature surrounding them. The emotion is transcendental and wild as each subject expresses themselves truly to the elements.

Staged Nature will be premiering at The Studio@620 on Saturday May 12. Doors will be opening at 6:30 p.m. and the films screen at 7:00 p.m. In addition, bands The Need Money ft. J. Thelonious with interpretive performances by Christopher Steven Watkins, and Valmara, will perform after the films premiere. There will also be artists additions of eight photos of stills from the films and prints in relation to the concepts.

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