ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie

Robert Wilson. Video Portraits

13 May - 22 Aug 2010

Robert Wilson,
William Pope.L
Dissident Industries Inc.,
© the artist
Robert Wilson. Video Portraits

An exhibition at the ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art
Opening Wed 12.05. at 7 p.m.

When the artist Robert Wilson speaks about his video portraits, he tells first of his desire to shape aesthetic and spiritual spaces. Wilson’s portraits display not only theatrical stagings of famous personalities, such as Brad Pitt, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Isabella Rossellini, Salma Hayek, Dita von Teese, Robert Downey Jr., but also unknown people and animals, for example, a street dancer and a frog.

The portrayed people refer not only to their own biographical details, but also to figures from cultural history. For example, Robert Downey Jr. represents the corpse from Rembrandt’s “Anatomy of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp” (1632) and Johnny Depp can be seen in drag as Rrose Sélavy by Marcel Duchamp. The tableaus are accompanied, in part, by texts spoken by Wilson, and music.

Wilson’s complex language of image and sound reaches its climax in his portraits of unknown people and animals. Anonymous people become divas, neutral things achieve cult status. Wilson’s video portraits function to expand awareness. His staged portraits present a climax that is path-breaking in the history of portrait painting and photographic portrait, particularly staged photography.

Curator: Peter Weibel
Production: Dissident Industries Inc.
Catalogue: Peter Weibel (ed.) with contributions by Norman Bryson, Ali Hossaini, Noah Khoshbin, Matthew Shattuck, Nicola Suthor, Peter Weibel, and Robert Wilson.

Further information: http://on1.zkm.de/zkm/ausstellungen

Tags: Marcel Duchamp, Peter Weibel, Robert Wilson