SOU’s Center for the Visual Arts winter installation was boasting fresh new material from students last Thursday. The gallery included pen ink drawings, acrylic paintings, and a video installation by Kyle Simpson titled, Bible School.
The piece consisted mainly of footage filmed on a VHS camcorder Simpson picked up at the local Goodwill for $12. Three separate videos were shown via projectors on a blank wall in the Boise-Cascade Gallery, with a separate TV playing back footage from the camcorder duct-taped to the top of it. As an artist on a budget, there was no lack of creativity, utilizing any tools he had to produce what seemed like a 90s home video with some dark twists.
“It’s cool to see it in a gallery like this, it kind of validates it,” said Simpson, turning on the last projector before starting the videos. From footage of his friends freestyle rapping to shooting off roman candles in their backyard, the art piece casted off a feeling of nostalgia from the degraded film quality of the dated camcorder. “It brings some warmth to it, watching the memories,” he said. Roommates and friends of Simpson all gathered at the gallery to see his work professionally displayed.
“It’s really cool being a part of all this,” said Ceasar Perez a longtime friend who was featured in most of the videos. Standing next to Mitchell Winters, another friend of Simpson, they both expressed their admiration for his work. “It’s awesome because I was there when he filmed all of this,” said Winters. “Actually, those are my fingers I think,” he stated pointing to the projection on the wall.
Both Perez and Winters are members of the band Slow Corpse, of which Simpson is the manager. Much of the footage used in the art installation was used in a few of the band’s music videos including one of their first released songs, Vision.
While the list of film classes Simpson has under his belt is small, this went seemingly unnoticed, as he made up for it with talent and originality. “I’d rather not have boundaries,” he stated referring to the structure of most classes. “Because it gets pretty dark in some of this.”
Simpson developed an interest in film around the age of 10, the same time the first Jackass movie was released. From recreating stunts in the film to remaking scenes from Star Wars, he discovered there was a lot you could do with a video camera.
He is now a senior at SOU, one term away from obtaining a degree in communications. While this could be his last show as a student, he hopes to continue his filmmaking after graduation.