Marco Brambilla: Theater
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present the first solo exhibition in Hong Kong of artist Marco Brambilla. Re-contextualizing century old histories with an array of pop cultural sources, the painterly dimensions of Brambilla's films combine cinematic techniques and technologies to challenge the standards of fine art and Hollywood. With precise technical production and seamless editing, Brambilla’s multi-layered tableaux of interconnecting images and looped video blend into expansive landscapes.
The third in a trilogy of 3D videos that began with Civilization (Megaplex) (2008) and Evolution (Megaplex) (2010), Creation (Megaplex) (2016) presents a spectacular cinematic composition that culls from a vast archive of iconic Hollywood films. Within the trilogy, the artist builds three separate compositions that oscillate around the narrative unfolding in each film. In the previous chapters, Evolution (Megaplex) presents a procession of iconic film characters tracing the history of human conflict through vignettes of war and Civilization (Megaplex) presents an endlessly ascending journey through inferno and up through earth into the lofty clouds of heaven. Set within the form of a giant DNA helix, Creation (Megaplex) takes the viewer on a spiralling trajectory that begins with a big bang and continues through embryonic inception, then idyllic, Eden-like bliss and decadence.
Using collage as the point of departure, Brambilla explicates the medium, not only juxtaposing imagery but also superimposing looping visuals onto one another and setting cuts from various films into each other to create compelling new narratives. Many nuanced motifs are enveloped into the overall anecdote, much like the parabolic style of Northern Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch who layered fables and proverbs as detailed notes within the master tale. Creation (Megaplex) addresses the language and mythologies of Hollywood, exploring the idea of spectacle versus content. Set to the jubilantly haunting score of Prokofiev’s “Cinderella Waltz”, the film comments on our dislocated interpretations and obsession with media. The digitally assembled images generate a hyper-realistic landscape of clouds, meadows and burning cityscapes, against which humanity reels between a frenzied production and consumption of its own creation. With each cycle of the work, Megaplex engulfs the viewer in an overload of imagery almost impossible to sustain.
The most technically complex of the trilogy, Brambilla tests visual limits and utilizes cutting-edge digital science in Creation (Megaplex). Within the darkened gallery space, Brambilla offers an engrossing examination of consumerism and the excesses of our era. The artist both celebrates and satirises the Hollywood blockbuster and our cultural landscape with a provocative visual narrative that produces an endless, repeating stream of epic film clips and grandiose characters from every genre, reflecting the disposability of the images and the absorption of it into our collective consciousness.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Marco Brambilla (b. 1960) is an artist based in New York and Berlin. He is primarily known for his elaborate re-contextualisations of found imagery, often employing new technologies in his work. He has pioneered the use of 3D technology in video art with his Megaplex trilogy, LiDAR computer-mapping for Anthropocene (a public art installation in New York City), as well as elaborate computer simulations of an Apollo launch, presented on 54 screens in Times Square (2015). Brambilla’s work has been internationally exhibited and is in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; ARCO Foundation, Madrid; Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Key exhibitions include New Museum, New York; Santa Monica Museum of Art (Retrospective); Seoul Biennial, Korea; Broad Art Museum, Lansing, Michigan; and Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland.
A recipient of the Tiffany Comfort Foundation and Tiffany Colbert Foundation awards, Brambilla has also worked with luxury brands for which he has created large scale video installations. His work has been featured at the 2011 Venice Film Festival and 2012 Sundance Film Festival, as well as a screening of the Megaplex trilogy at Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland.
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