Infinite Mix

THANX 4 NOTHING, 2015, Ugo Rondinone. Courtesy the artist, Galerie Eva Presenhuber and Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York/ Brussels

 

Ugo Rondinone’s immersive video installation features legendary beat poet John Giorno performing THANX 4 NOTHING. In this poem written on his 70th birthday, Giorno looks back at his life – and the people and events that shaped it – with humour and compassion. Performing in a tuxedo and bare feet on an empty stage in the Palais des Glaces theatre in Paris, as well as in a brightly-lit TV studio, Giorno gives thanks to ‘everyone for everything,’ before speaking frankly on the death of friends and lovers, sex, betrayal and his frequent periods of depression.

Rondinone’s carefully choreographed multi-screen installation – which features long shots, intimate close-ups and passages of high-speed editing – keeps pace with Giorno’s theatrical delivery and draws attention to the poem’s many rhetorical twists and turns.

THANX 4 NOTHING, 2015,Ugo RondinoneCourtesy the artist, Galerie Eva Presenhuber and Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York/ Brussels

DACS, 2016. Courtesy the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin

In the holographic illusion OPERA (QM.15) Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster appears in the guise of legendary soprano Maria Callas (1923–77). Dressed in the singer’s signature red dress and dramatic makeup, the artist lip-syncs to arias from Cherubini’s Medea, Verdi’s La Traviata and Ponchielli’s La Gioconda. Situated at the end of a derelict corridor, and encountered from a distance of 30 metres, the luminous figure is at first startlingly life-like – an impression reinforced by the strength of Callas’s voice.

Everything and More, 2015, Rachel Rose
Courtesy the artist, Pilar Corrias, London and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York

 

The film’s galactic scenes were achieved with basic materials: milk, food colouring, oil and water manipulated with an air compressor. In Everything and More, the micro and the macro, the sublime and the ordinary, are treated in much the same way: ‘as all, essentially, material.’ By projecting the film onto a fabric screen against a vinyl-covered window – which during the projection becomes alternately opaque and transparent – Rose creates subtle shifts in perspective and a form of sensory disorientation that brings us closer to Wolf’s own.

 

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