"Bowl of Fruit"

Bess Hepner

Video Review by Sheldon Hubbard


Who’s gonna miss a floating bowl with a dollar sign drawn in illumination on a clay-clapped wall? Nobody. Especially if you find yourself watching Bess Hepner’s latest music video for her song, “Bowl of Fruit”. Originally from her 2019 album, 17-24. This golden floating bowl suddenly generates with the song’s opening lines, “You paint a bowl of fruit; forbidden in its loom. The taste is yours to try, but judgements in the eyes...of all the hungry ones, money packed in their gums…” 


The clay-clapped wall dissipates into Bess standing with her guitar, swaying in some kind of flow state while plucking away the opening notes. From there ade-in to someone’s bedroom, where they’ve conjured a convulsive interpretive reflection of how they hear the song. This continues as a floating, translucent visual while someone else in a suit visits various locations to enjoy an apple. Going from a patio bench to their home, and then on what seems to be just your everyday stroll. Once we’re back to the solid visual of this interpretive dancer, they build their motions up with Bess’s lyrical delivery. Only to reach a point where they are bent so far back, they collapse to their bed. Presenting us with another transparent visual, the camera zooms up towards a wood-plated door. Normal enough, until you see sticky-note-yellow colored flyers that read: “COVID-19 is the Virus - Capitalism is the Pandemic.” The Instagram handle for whomever tacked up the flyers resides just below the message, hashtags and all. 


From Bess plucking away in her backyard around what seems to be Thundercloud Plum trees, visuals of people painting blib across the screen. One painting appears to be some children stuffing fruits and vegetables into their shorts/overalls. Next is the “classic” table-wine-fruit painting (which is always cool, despite the seemingly redundant use of the motif). Soon, another interpretive dancer joins the frame. Their movements reminded me of the springiness you might see in a color guard act, but with the freer, less calculated terms of freestyle dancing. 


We come to a scene that looks to be Bess herself wearing a black jacket with a strawberry cat on the back and the word  “FRUIT” across the shoulders. She zings around to show us an orange, ghosty-patterned mask. Then we’re met by a short string of some bright-eyed, smiling humans giggling with their fruit; others purely enjoying their fruit. 


Bess said it best in the description about the inspiration for this video: “I believe the video and the song are relevant and important for folks to hear and share during these times.” These times, of course, being living in a world that is rife with political perversion, capitalistic enslavement, and anxiety fueled by propaganda as deadly as the virus it’s trying to promote. What this quarantine seems to have taught many people is the fact that they can still unite without physically meeting up. Though the latter is usually preferred, I’m sure. I understand why Bess mentions… “Part of the joy of creating this video was seeing my friends' faces after so much time. It moved me to tears.” Being able to have a connection, even just a friendship, with someone so deep like that should be admired. That had to be one of my favorite parts of this video: even without reading the description, you can just feel the connection Bess has to these people. Friends and family (if they’re worth havin’) will do the most for you whenever you need them. Whether you’ve seen them plenty of times in the past week, or if they’re staring at you from the other side of a screen...this song screams:


We love each other and we aren’t gonna let any threat come between the connection we have, or keep us apart. Social connection still exists, so long as there is a desire to pursue it.