Mittwoch, 20. März, 19:00 Uhr
House: After five years of living. 1955. USA. Office of Charles and Ray Eames. 11 min.
Supersurface: An alternative model for life on the earth. 1972. Italy. Superstudio. 10 min.
The World of Liberace. 1972. USA. Tony Palmer. 55 min.
Charles and Ray saw everything through the camera. This accounts for the astonishing continuity between work in so many different scales. If the eye is the eye of a camera, size is not fixed but continuously shifting.… they also made design decisions on the basis of what they saw through the lens… Not by chance, the Eames’s 1955 film House: After Five Years of Living is made up entirely of thousands of slides. Every aspect of the house is scrutinized by these all-too-intimate eyes. The camera moves up close to every surface, every detail. But these are not the details of the building as such, they are the details of the everyday life that the building makes possible.
House: After Five Years of Living (1955), as well as Supersurface: An Alternative Model For Life On The Earth (1972), were screened together in Julie Ault and Martin Beck’s collaborative exhibition Outdoor Systems, Indoor Distribution, at the Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin, Germany, in the summer of 2000. In the catalog accompanying the show, Ault and Beck give a concise background to the Superstudio film as follows: The Superstudio group, founded in Florence in 1966 and composed of Aldolfo Natalini, Cristiano Toraldo di Fancia, Robert Magris, Piero Fassinelli, Alessandro Magris, and Alessandro Poli, carried out, until 1978, an activity of theoretic research on architecture and system design. The work of Superstudio was born out of the organization, together with Archizoom, of the show “Superarchitecttura” (1966) and it continued over the course of the years in diverse fields, from design to films to utopian projects. For example, “Supersurface,” depicting a continuous infinite grid on which humanity acts and lives nomadically, is transferred to numerous media including film, photographic montages, and manufactured laminate surface to be applied to tables, desks, and other furniture.
- Julie Ault and Martin Beck
To these key points of intersection with Ault and Beck’s Outdoor Systems, and its examination of the morphing of culture in public space, Tell It To My Heart is pleased to add the The World of Liberace, a 1972 public-television portrait of the Las Vegas entertainer and actor, who here conducts a tour of his Las Vegas and Palm Springs homes. A visual catalog of his most prized possessions is intercut with highlights of his shows: playfully virtuosic piano renditions, camp dance routines that are more drag than grace, and hilarious exchanges with his audience about just how rich he is. “You want to see my jewelry? Why not — you bought it!” Both cautionary spectacle and an emersion in the sheer passion of an artist-collector, the excesses of Liberace are surprisingly sentimental and directed. Obliged to maintain an inventory of piano kitsch that were a mainstay of his nightly performances in the casino hotels (his moniker was “Mr. Showmanship”), he was also an astute designer of a variation of Vegas glamour unique to him alone.
- Jason Simon
These films are shown on the occasion of the exhibition Tell it to my heart: Collected by Julie Ault at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel.