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Motion Picture

Video artist Brian Milbrand's work are part of this weekend's performance of "Motion Picture." (photo by Michael Thomas)
(photo by Lukia Costello)
photo by Michael Thomas

Torn Space returns to Silo City with a new site-specific spectacle

Buffalo continues to reconnect to the waterfront that made us great. Following close on the heels of last weekend’s City of Night festival, which attracted thousands of people to Silo City, Torn Space theater continues its own exploration of site-specific performance and community engagement by heading back to the waterfront with Motion Picture, to take place on August 23 and 24 at 8pm. The location is again Silo City, off Ohio Street in Buffalo’s First Ward.

According to press materials, Motion Picture “will incorporate the talents of installation artists, horseback riders, bagpipers, re-enactors of the war of 1812, flag bearers, sound and lighting designers, 120 ft. video projections, parades and warfare.” We hear this also involves a horse and an helicopter—no joke.

“Audiences will witness a ceremony in the shadows of the towering grain elevators, where a solider navigates through warring factions of 19th Century Militia, flag bearers, bag pipers and architecture. The narrative follows two circumstances: the soldier’s harsh reality and the lucid dreams he has of love.”

As with everything at Torn Space, to describe the event as “lucid” is probably a matter of opinion, but the experience will undoubtedly be “vivid” and “memorable.” For those who cling to narrative, a bit of additional background can be useful in advance:

“Through this journey the soldier enters into a pastoral setting on the eve of war where he has visions of paradise, terror, and of a girl he once knew. The soldier must contend with many forces in order to succeed. All the while there is an ominous presence encroaching.”

What could be clearer than that?

The event will be performed by John Toohill, Diane Gaidry, the State of New York Militia (1812), Pipe Major Joseph Baschnagel and accompanying Pipe Band, Ann Cinelli on horseback, and more. The event was written and diraected by Torn Space co-founder Dan Shanahan, with production design by Melissa Meola and Tim Stegner, video design by Brian Millbrand, lighting design by John Rickus and Carlie Todoro Rickus, sound design by Justin Rowland, costume design by Jessica Wegrzyn, and installation performances created by MJ Myers and Frank Napolski.

Admission is $10 and tickets are available either online at, or in cash the night of performance.

Prepare to be amazed!