BEN KHAN x BRTHR | “Youth”

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BEN KHAN, “YOUTH” – BRTHR.  Ben Khan and the presumed girl of his dreams hardly appear in the same frame in the video for “Youth” – they’ve probably never even met. This goes well with Khan’s masturbatory suicide obsession as well as his Lloyd Dobler-esque tough-guy posing.  Killing yrself and looking good while doing it is ultimately an act of solipsism, and the love you claim to do it for is more an object than a real subject of devotion.  When Ben and his girl do eventually end up touching, it’s implausible and fantastic and more or less terrifying; the grainy wash out looks more like a snuff film than a dream sequence.  BRTHR’s (New York-based young kahk team Alex Lee and Kyle Wightman) Golden Age video tropes (“3-D” computer graphics, stock film jump cuts, John Hughes hairstyling) wallow in pre-Clinton-era emptiness instead of nostalgia and in doing so prevent “Youth” from becoming another unnecessary work of self-denying irony.  Hope is empty when it’s grounded in yr own head; getting the girl means nothing when she isn’t real.

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