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Issue No. 18 - Humanity

Walkers: Hollywood Afterlives in Art and Artifact

Image above: © Richard Mosse, Platon, 2012 / Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery.

Walkers: Hollywood Afterlives in Art and Artifact, the Museum of the Moving Image’s newest exhibition, centers on 20th century cinema and presents its stars and their works in a 21st century context by manipulating and modifying stills, memorabilia, and footage of classic Hollywood actors and movies from the previous century.

Walkers: Hollywood Afterlives in Art and Artifact, the Museum of the Moving Image

Image above: © Yasumasa Morimura, Self-Portrait (Actress) / After Catherine Deneuve 1,1996 / Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

Among some of the more “ordinary” pieces featured are, a keybook from Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, the script from Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, and a planning sketch of one of Mia Farrow’s outfits from the infamous Rosemary’s Baby. Despite the inclusion of these one-of-a-kind collectible items, the more interesting pieces were those that bore a darker mark of the 21st century, like the headshot of Steve McQueen with mirrors for eyes and a mouth, and the imagined posters for the Heart of Darkness, which was so expensive to film that it was never completed.

Walkers: Hollywood Afterlives in Art and Artifact, the Museum of the Moving Image

Image above: Richard Prince, Untitled (Bob Hope), 2012 © Richard Prince, photograph by Genevieve Hanson. / Courtesy of the artist.

Intriguing backstories to films such as the one that retells how originally, a film based on Joseph Conrad’s novel of the same name, soon evolved into what we have all come to know as Apocalypse Now.

Walkers: Hollywood Afterlives in Art and Artifact, the Museum of the Moving Image

Images above: Left- Douglas Gordon, Self-Portrait of You + Me (Dean Martin 01), 2007. © Studio lost but found / 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015 / Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery. Right- © John Stezaker, Marriage (Film Portrait Collage) XXVII, 2007 / Courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London.

Although the method and spirit of 20th century film now seems archaic to us, Walkers aims to show viewers that images from these films remain with us, are engrained in our culture, and remain recognizable to us despite the fact that, as exhibit curator Robert M. Rubin states, “The golden age of movies is over. Celluloid is over. Everything is digital.”

Walkers: Hollywood Afterlives in Art and Artifact, the Museum of the Moving Image

Image above: John Divola, Continuity: Artificial Nature, The Outrides, 2002. © John Divola. / Courtesy of the artist.

Walkers will be on view at the Museum of the Moving Image through April 10, 2016.

-Stephanie Kotsikonas

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