Gió Marconi

Catherine Sullivan

29 Jan - 18 Mar 2009

© Catherine Sullivan
Triangle of need
Exhibition view, 2009
"Triangle of need"

January 29 - March 19, 2009

The American artist is known for her theatre and video work that explores the conventions of the performance and role-playing. She uses a large range of historical and cultural references as film noir, avant-garde cinema, contemporary art and history of theatre , and through them she explores the tension between actors, the roles played and the public.
Sullivan's work is a sort of expansion of her intellectual interests, not less a unique aesthetical approach.

The exhibition will show a multichannel video installation Triangle of Need. On three monitors, edited on a seven channels projection, Catherine Sullivan orchestrates a complex set, made of ideas and performers, to contrive a variegate narration about evolution, class, wealth and poverty, inequalities and injustice in the global economy.

The video installation unfolds between Vizcaya Museum in Miami, an anonymous apartment in Chicago. The building of Vizcaya Museum once was the estate of the industrialist James Deering who divided himself between Miami, place of holidays and fun, and Chicago, city where his factory was. In these two contrasting sites, Sullivan places two situations: one involves an industrialist who tries to force the last remaining members of a hominid species to reproduce and a second one is a series of reconstructions of scenes from catalogue of Pathescope Films, the company from which Deering ordered silent film for screening in Vizcaya.

The actors take on mutiple roles, and certain roles are played by alla performers: the result is the dissolution of stable identification between characters and actors.
Triangle of Need is presented as a multichannel installation: three synchronized channels from the Chicago set and four synchronized channel from Miami section presented as contiguos projections. The installation is completed by a 16mm film projection that shows the figure skater Rohene Ward executing a serie of spin, interspersed with the documentary of young girls celebrating their quinceañera (15th birthday) in the gardens of Vizcaya.

For this work the artist has been helped by some illustrious collaborators: the coreographer Dylan Skybrook, the skater Rohene Ward and Sean Griffin, a musician who elaborated a complex performative language called 'Mousterian' taken form theories of Neanderthal speech. Add to them Niegerian actor/director Kunle Afolayan, who makes a counterpoint to Sullivan's direction with his commercially based practice.

Triangle of Needs becomes an allegorical meditation on accumulation and deprivation, social class, and behavioural norms, and human evolution and civilization, constituting an "imperfect apparatus" for understanding the world and its numerous historical and social contingencies.

Tags: Catherine Sullivan