A Blast of Fame / Blasted by Fame

MoriTowerExhibiting right now in the Mori Museum on the 59rd floor of the Mori Tower is 15 minutes Eternal, the most gigantic, comprehensive show I’ve ever seen of Andy Warhol. Tucked in the tiny project room at the end is Decrees, a two-video installation by the young Peruvian artist, Gabriel Acevedo Velarde. The room is small and dark off the main corridor and most people simply slide by headed to the gift shop, without even noticing. After sitting in on his artist talk on Saturday, I went there specifically to see this work and it was surely one of the best I’ve seen in a while.

The video, Decreto 882, shot in the Museum of Natural History in Lima Peru is projected on the left-hand wall as you enter the project room off the  wall. Single beams of light shining into a dark room to reveal a giant dinosaur-like creature. In a ghost-like superimposition, groups of children parade single file through the exhibition room.  On the opposite wall is the video animation, Escenario. Hand drawn comic-book like characters stand in line, waiting to be chosen or rejected. The chosen few are led up onto the stage. A lighting technician placed high above the crowd sends a single blast of light onto the stage, knocking the chosen character flat on his/her back. They are then carried off stage, while everyone in the crowd rubs their blinded eyes. Behind Velarde’s comic approach, hides a brutal Kafkaesque look at the absurdity of those  “15 minutes of fame,” so sought after and prevalent in today’s society. It is also a clever criticism of the art star world.

Pairing this work with that of Andy Warhol strikes me as brilliant. Escenario1A kind of last blast for the few who do manage to find the project room and who are not completely blinded by the aura of Andy. Escenario2