Philadelphia born, London based identical twin duo, the Quay Brothers have been on the scene for sometime, but its only now that their work is being put into a solo exhibition. The two have garnered a flattering reputation in the world of animation and stop motion video, which has led them to their new retrospective currently being held at the New York MoMA.“Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacists Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets” may be a mouthful but the show is more than worth its weight in gold.
The stop motion animation that these guys produce is inspiring. It tends to be crammed with disjointed puppets and innumerable animate materials, patching together diminutive sets that reflect a much bleaker and more surreal version of reality. The lack of dialogue also is creepy beyond belief, instead relying on the dark ambience and musical scores to carry the piece through and boy do they ever. Though the duo do sometimes include dialogue, it’s merely a form of noise, a nonsensical gibberish that does nothing but further unsettle people.
One of their major works and one they are most recognisable for is their 1986 Streets of Crocodiles. The short 21-minute film shadows a strange puppet meandering through a maze of mechanical landscapes. Legendary director Terry Gilliam whose work is synonymous with the weird and wonderful, also named it as one of the best pieces of animation of all time.
If this sounds like something that is up your street then the MoMA exhibit runs from now till 7th January 2013 giving you plenty of time to check it out. It is curated by the museums Ron Magliozzi and is the first show to exhibit all of the Quay’s work, in all of the different fields they have worked in.
The display will look at their most well known pieces as well as the pairs never before seen moving images and designs. Though this is not all, as the MoMA have acquired some of the small-scale sets, puppets and materials used within the videos as well as apiece made especially for the show.
If you have never heard of these guys or even if you are just bored one day this exhibition is definitely worth a look, as these guys are truly the masters of their field. After all what can be more interesting than looking at creepy stop motions in one of the best galleries in the world?