Curated by Pia Bolognesi and Giulio Bursi with Stuart Comer
Produced by Tate Modern
With Retracing Black, Aldo Tambellini and Atelier Impopulaire go back to the roots of New York’s darkest underground scene, creating a multimedia installation that originates from the experiences with the pictorial manipulation of the image and results in a reflection on the transition from video to experimental performance. In this new work, the abstract expressionism and sculptural materiality explored by the artist merge into a synaesthetic triptych, which portrays the internal collapse of the dogmas and icons of the American consumer society.
Going back to the traditional canons of expanded cinema and multimedia environment, Retracing Black reflects on the sensory mutation of the cinematic and videographic element, subverting found footage and TV-collage practices to provide the figurative element with an absolute, definite identity.
A triptych of hand-painted 16mm films from the Black Film Series is featured along with unreleased works filmed by the artist in 1960s New York, while a series of projected ‘lumagrams’ – hand-painted glass slides – transforms cellular forms into a sculptural, kinetic installation. Electronic sound compositions are intertwined with the spoken words of Calvin C. Hernton, a poet and member of the Black Art Movement.
Television footage of 1960s political events and fragments filmed in working-class areas of Brooklyn and Manhattan reveals the transformation of New York City and its shattered political and economic system.
Black Zero (1965) and Moondial(1966)
Black Zero 1965, considered a major early example of multimedia performance during the 1960s, is to be re-staged in its original form during this special one-off event in the Tanks at Tate Modern. An audio-visual, electro dance incorporating live amplified cello music, hand-painted slides and hand-painted films turns the South Tank into a hypnotic and mystical environment.
Originally a collaboration with dancer Beverly Schmidt, Moondial 1966 presents a mixture of electronic imagery, slides, films and sounds, while a single female dancer improvises particular movements in front of a live audience. Large abstract, hand-painted slides and hand-painted films will be projected onto the dancer as she moves through the unique space of the Tank.
It [Moondial] is one of those few cases where everything seemed to work perfectly… The flashes and glimpses of light and slides, and the dancer, all together, produced an aesthetically unified performance… breathtakingly beautiful performance.
Jonas Mekas, The Village Voice, 1966
October 9-14 The Tanks Tate Modern
October 13 6 pm Starr Auditorium
October 13 9 pm
London SE1 9TG
Full program and detailed film retrospective info