Now is Here
Phyllis Baldino Now is Here color/sound: single-channel video installation
Now is Here
2017
color/sound: single-channel video installation
18:58 minutes

In the fall of 2016, Baldino read "Time Reborn" by the theoretical physicist Lee Smolin. Lee is in her piece "about symmetry symmetry about" (2002). They have stayed in touch over the years and he recommended that she read this particular book of his. Some of Baldino’s previous work deals directly with concepts about time. In the introduction to "Time Reborn," Lee states, “Every journey has a lesson to teach, and mine has been to realize just how radical an idea is contained in the simple statement that time is real. Having begun my life in science searching for the equation beyond time, I now believe that the deepest secret of the universe is that its essence rests in how it unfolds moment to moment in time.” 1

After reading Smolin’s book, Baldino decided to make a video about the idea of ‘now’. As timing would have it, the American presidential election in November resulted in a reality television star entering the White House. Baldino consciously did not include the name, voice, or likeness of the new President. Although he is not literally represented, he exists in other manifestations. As it turns out, her first pre-planned trip to Cuba was in January. Baldino was lucky to meet Eloisa Hernández Janeiro in Havana and was thrilled when she agreed to be in the piece. Eloisa was a simultaneous interpreter for Fidel Castro, and also for Presidents Obama and Carter when they visited Cuba. Both the United States and Cuba are going through an unprecedented moment in history. All of these factors came into play when creating “Now is Here.”

Production started in January 2017, by filming the hands of 25 people as they spoke about their definition of ‘now.’ Interspersed with the hand footage are various forms of current event activity, altered as needed. Baldino also filmed at the Camera Obscura in Havana, for another aspect of the idea of now.

“Now is Here” was completed at the end of August. It debuted as a single channel installation at Videoformes in March 2018 (with French subtitles). The exhibition took place in an old chapel, Chapelle de L’Hôpital General, in Clermont-Ferrand, France (photo above: Solveig Font's hands).

Additional installation photos and an excerpt from the piece are in the following pages.

Thank you to the 25 participants and the Spanish translators. Their names are below and appear in the end credits as well.

Elías Aseff Alfonso, Hanser Ponce Blanco, Tom Boettcher, Zoe Brants, Keion Bryant, Judith Dean, Solveig Font, Alexander Gonzalez, René Gonzalez, Mark Harris, Nate Heiges, Eloisa Hernández Janeiro, Pam Lins, Julio Llópiz-Casal, Robin Lowe, Reinier Menendez, Jonah Murphy,
Eileen Olivieri, Halsey Rodman, Kathleen Ruiz, Amy Sillman & Omar, Kai Stern, Katie Vida & Biggie, Corey D. B. Walker, Alena J. Williams

Spanish Translation: Dolores Hackenberg, Joaquin Badajoz

1 Smolin, Lee, “Time Reborn,” 2013, p.xiii

Thumbnail credit: Hands of Corey D. B. Walker

Phyllis Baldino Now is Here color/sound: single-channel video installation
Now is Here
2017
color/sound: single-channel video installation
18:58 minutes

Installation photo at Chapelle de L’Hôpital General, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Videoformes, March 2018

Filmed at the Revolution Museum, Havana
Phyllis Baldino Now is Here color/sound: single-channel video installation
Now is Here
2017
color/sound: single-channel video installation
18:58 minutes

Installation photo at Chapelle de L’Hôpital General, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Videoformes, March 2018
Phyllis Baldino Now is Here color/sound: single-channel video installation
Now is Here
2017
color/sound: single-channel video installation
18:58 minutes

Eloisa Hernández Janeiro's hands

Eloisa was a simultaneous interpreter for Fidel Castro, and also for Presidents Obama and Carter when they visited Cuba.

Installation photo at Chapelle de L’Hôpital General, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Videoformes, March 2018
Phyllis Baldino Now is Here color/sound: single-channel video installation
Now is Here
2017
color/sound: single-channel video installation
18:58 minutes

Installation photo at Chapelle de L’Hôpital General, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Videoformes, March 2018

Filmed at the Camera Obscura in Havana
Now is Here
2017
color/sound: single-channel video installation
18:58 minutes

Excerpt from original english version

Credits:

“Solo la verdad”
Written by Rafael Hernández
Performed by students from
Primaria: “Nicolás Estévanez Murphy”
School Associated with UNESCO, Havana, Cuba

- Voice of Elizabeth Warren
- Alexander Gonzalez's hands (Cuban with english subtitles)
- Nate Heiges, NY artist
- Camera Obscura, Havana
Bibliography Section Article Bibliography Section Catalog Bibliography Section Web Link PDF icon displayed by thumbnail Sold Dot