The Art of Poetry Film with Cheryl Gross: “It turns out”

It turns out
poem and film by Martha McCollough

Martha McCollough is one of my absolute favorite artists. It turns out is another one of her pieces that is over the top.

She combines one voiceover that uses echo with another that is just plain-spoken. And she gives us two formats in one, the written work and spoken word. It’s as if they are two separate poems. Could it be one is imagined and the other based in reality? What is the message? We ask for help, but does it exist?

There’s a nice collage effect, interlacing texture with line animation and design. I love the voiceover. Images of a floor plan are juxtaposed with talk about no help from a help desk. I often feel that way. Are we to assume that we must venture on alone? Could she be talking about immigration? Electing Trump? Trying to escape from the horrors of war and reality? We are left to fend for ourselves, applying her words however we can to assist us on our journey. Have technology and the media impaired our senses and way of being? Or am I reading too deeply into what has been in front of us all along?

We see imagery of people running, wolves running towards them — a metaphor. There are so many questions to be asked in such uncertain times.

So how does one go about critiquing a work that is perfect in its imperfection? It turns out does seem somehow very fitting for the post-election funk we are feeling. Can we call it prophetic? Is this what people have been trying to say all along? It makes me wonder what is real and what has been manipulated to appear so.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Cheryl Gross (website, blog) is an illustrator, painter, writer, and motion graphic artist living and working in the New York/Jersey City area. She is a professor at Pratt Institute (where she received her MFA) and Bloomfield College.

Her work has appeared in numerous festivals and publications as well as gracing the walls of many galleries, corporate and museum collections.

“I equate my work with creating and building an environment, transforming my inner thoughts into reality. Beginning with the physical process, I work in layers. I am involved in solving visual and verbal complexities such as design and narrative. My urban influence has indeed added an ‘edge’ to my work.”

Cheryl has often been compared to “Dr. Seuss on crack.”