Arms Are Overrated

with additional dialogue and voice by Jedediah Caesar

2012, 11:35 min, color, sound, HD video

Equal parts persevering and fragile, two puppets with no arms, no legs, and no moving parts are pitted against an insurmountable obstacle: they are just crumpled pieces of paper, and subject to imminent disintegration at the whims of water, fire, wind—even the very beer they attempt to drink. The roguish pair pursue a poetic discourse of resistance, cracking crude jokes with verve and without censor, the stakes being so high that the odds are no longer relevant. In Arms Are Overrated, existentialist questions are formalized in layers, in the play on puppetry as a representational form. Concerns incumbent to embodied life, things like desire, distress, rumination are restaged in a precarious phantom state where there is only the representation of a body, and the representation itself is not itself: scratch paper, destined for the trash (and paper itself ultimately close to obsolescence) has been cursorily shaped into a vague likeness of being. Formal cinematic moves raise these barely-beings temporarily into "a world that matters." And these same cinematic tropes are also their undoing. Drama, music, fire, water swiftly dismantle what was barely there to begin with, circling our focus back around to questions of what matters, what is matter, what is the matter, and how do we make it known.


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This work is HD video and must be shown with a 16:9, HD display.
High-Definition Video Guide