Saturday, September 26, 2009

Inspiration: Civilization Elevator Mural Installation

At New York City's Standard Hotel, while you ascend to your 20th floor suite, you also ascend from hell to heaven via a collage of video loops from classic films.  

Marco Brambilla's Civilization video collage tickles me in just about every way.  
First, his immaculate collaging of these moving images into a surreal and ethereal sequence that maintains a somewhat believable illusion of natural vertical panning movement with convincing but impossible architecture.  Then there's his keen appropriation of beautiful, iconic, and even outright hilarious images from films ranging from Arnold Schwartzenegger flexing his muscles while standing over Princess Leah in her classic Jaba's slave garb, to the Stay Puff Marshmellow Man from Ghostbusters stomping through a cityscape, to Michael Jackson doing his high kick dance.  

The sheer volume of appropriated video clips in Brambilla's work places me in a state of nostalgic curiosity, as I try to recall where I might have seen each little chunk of imagery before.  This activity of trying to place small samples of historical moving imagery seems to be the visual equivalent of recognizing and placing sound samples in much of hip hop music; one of my favorite parts of listening to hiphop in the first place!

No comments:

Post a Comment