The Cast, 2013
The Cast, 2013

Afterimage
Semicircular video installation, 3 channel, color, sound
6 min

The Beginning. Living Figures Dying
10 channel video installation, sound
18 min

Procession
HD video, sound
14 min

Props and extras referencing the giants of the Rome film industry; the relationship between statue and actor, but also between these two and the spectator’s gaze; the history of film and its hidden aspects; the political struggles of the cultural sector workers of yesterday and today; the Greek myth of rebirth after destruction.

These are the themes of “The Cast”, the exhibition produced by MAXXI, curated by Giulia Ferracci and dedicated to Clemens von Wedemeyer, one of the international artists most committed to experimentation within a new idiom that concerns time as much as cinematic space. For this project the artist has collaborated with Paolo Caffoni, co-editor of the exhibition catalogue (Archive Books), with contributions from Marco Scotini and Avery Gordon.

Clemens von Wedemeyer presents a film show composed of three new works specifically conceived for the museum’s Gallery 5 (Afterimage; The Beginning: Living Figures Dying and Procession) and an installation composed of diverse forms and sculptures (Remains: The Myth of Deucalion and Pyrrha). The title The Cast alludes to diverse meanings including the production of sculptures (the casting of forms), the process of selecting actors (casting) and the gesture of throwing (casting a stone). The exhibition is born out of the research conducted by von Wedemeyer over the last year spent in Rome and deals with a number of its symbolic, historic and contemporary sites such as the Cinecittà Studios and the Teatro Valle Occupato. Through a composite language and multiple video installations, The Cast compares the materiality of film and that of sculpture, the animation of props and the “pure presence” of the extras within the film. The display, configured in four chapters, opens to the public a multiple exhibition route in terms of forms and meanings that cannot be traced back to a natural sequential structure that is instead a characteristic of classic film. The great merit of von Wedemeyer’s work lies in the exposition of that which is separate, as Marco Scotini commented: starting out from the remains of the performing arts and the fragmentation of the cinematographic dispositif, his work guides us towards a new immersive experience in which it is up to the spectator to reconstruct their own vision.

The first chapter Afterimage finds its location in Cinecittà, in the De Angelis family’s historic Cinears sculpture workshop, which for four generations dealt with the production of props for films that have earned a place in cinema history: from the colossal Ben-Hur and Cleopatra to Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The work is a 3D animation in which the protagonist is the spectator’s gaze that through the use of point of view shots moves through a store in which props, sculptures and stage material are stacked. The second chapter The Beginning: Living Figures Dying is an installation composed of brief fragments of historic films (from Mélies to Cocteau, from Fellini to Godard), projected along the glazed floor of Gallery 5, transformed for the occasion into rolling axis of a film. The found-footage film analyses the relationship between sculptures and actors, the perennial duel between immobility and movement, following a classic cinematic plot: the origin of the statue, its adoration and successive destruction.

The third part of the exhibition presents Procession, a combination of the documentary genre and film fiction. The film script faithfully recreates an off-stage incident that occurred back in 1958, when thousands of extras attempted to enter the Studios, asking for work and interrupting the filming in progress. The cast of this re-enactment is composed of the artists and activists from the Teatro Valle Occupato that from 2011 has become one of the most important players in the transformations taking place in the culture sector. The last chapter is Remains: The Myth of Deucalion and Pyrrha, two sculptures narrating the Greek myth of Deucalion and Pyrrha, the only two human beings to survive the great flood that struck the world in remote times, recounted by Ovid in his Metamorphosis. The gods granted them the power to generate new life by casting stones over their shoulders. This section also features a number of negative forms: the moulds from the Cinears workshop, already presented in the first chapter.

In the superimposition of different times – from the Greek myth to the extras’ protest and through to the present-day struggles of the workers of the spectacle – The Cast shows how the role of memory, like that of images in movement (film), is not that of defining the image of what has just passed, but a virtual dimension that constitutes the potential for every action in the present.

Source: MAXXI, Rome

Props and extras referencing the giants of the Rome film industry; the

relationship between statue and actor, but also between these two and the spectator’s gaze; the history of film and its hidden aspects; the political struggles of the cultural sector workers of yesterday and today; the Greek myth of rebirth after destruction.

These are the themes of “The Cast”, the exhibition produced by MAXXI, curated by Giulia Ferracci and dedicated to Clemens von Wedemeyer, one of the international artists most committed to experimentation within a new idiom that concerns time as much as cinematic space. For this project the artist has collaborated with Paolo Caffoni, co-editor of the exhibition catalogue (Archive Books), with contributions from Marco Scotini and Avery Gordon.

 

Clemens von Wedemeyer presents a film show composed of three new works specifically conceived for the museum’s Gallery 5 (Afterimage; The Beginning: Living Figures Dying and Procession) and an installation composed of diverse forms and sculptures (Remains: The Myth of Deucalion and Pyrrha). The title The Cast alludes to diverse meanings including the production of sculptures (the casting of forms), the process of selecting actors (casting) and the gesture of throwing (casting a stone). The exhibition is born out of the research conducted by von Wedemeyer over the last year spent in Rome and deals with a number of its symbolic, historic and contemporary sites such as the Cinecittà Studios and the Teatro Valle Occupato. Through a composite language and multiple video installations, The Cast compares the materiality of film and that of sculpture, the animation of props and the “pure presence” of the extras within the film. The display, configured in four chapters, opens to the public a multiple exhibition route in terms of forms and meanings that cannot be traced back to a natural sequential structure that is instead a characteristic of classic film. The great merit of von Wedemeyer’s work lies in the exposition of that which is separate, as Marco Scotini commented: starting out from the remains of the performing arts and the fragmentation of the cinematographic dispositif, his work guides us towards a new immersive experience in which it is up to the spectator to reconstruct their own vision.

The first chapter Afterimage finds its location in Cinecittà, in the De Angelis family’s historic Cinears sculpture workshop, which for four generations dealt with the production of props for films that have earned a place in cinema history: from the colossal Ben-Hur and Cleopatra to Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma by Pier Paolo Pasolini. The work is a 3D animation in which the protagonist is the spectator’s gaze that through the use of point of view shots moves through a store in which props, sculptures and stage material are stacked. The second chapter The Beginning: Living Figures Dying is an installation composed of brief fragments of historic films (from Mélies to Cocteau, from Fellini to Godard), projected along the glazed floor of Gallery 5, transformed for the occasion into rolling axis of a film. The found-footage film analyses the relationship between sculptures and actors, the perennial duel between immobility and movement, following a classic cinematic plot: the origin of the statue, its adoration and successive destruction.

The third part of the exhibition presents Procession, a combination of the documentary genre and film fiction. The film script faithfully recreates an off-stage incident that occurred back in 1958, when thousands of extras attempted to enter the Studios, asking for work and interrupting the filming in progress. The cast of this re-enactment is composed of the artists and activists from the Teatro Valle Occupato that from 2011 has become one of the most important players in the transformations taking place in the culture sector. The last chapter is Remains: The Myth of Deucalion and Pyrrha, two sculptures narrating the Greek myth of Deucalion and Pyrrha, the only two human beings to survive the great flood that struck the world in remote times, recounted by Ovid in his Metamorphosis. The gods granted them the power to generate new life by casting stones over their shoulders. This section also features a number of negative forms: the moulds from the Cinears workshop, already presented in the first chapter.

In the superimposition of different times – from the Greek myth to the extras’ protest and through to the present-day struggles of the workers of the spectacle – The Cast shows how the role of memory, like that of images in movement (film), is not that of defining the image of what has just passed, but a virtual dimension that constitutes the potential for every action in the present.

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at MAXXI, Rome

- See more at: http://moussemagazine.it/cvon-wedemeyer-maxxi/#sthash.vxbFJAs5.dpuf