Wilhelm Sasnal

Sep 12 - Oct 27 2007

Opening reception Wednesday, September 12, 6-8 PM

Sasnal’s new installation “Untitled” consists of a 16-mm film loop with sound, based on found footage of several Elvis performances. Rather than splice together archival film, Sasnal presents clips from YouTube filmed on the screen of a laptop. The film begins with an early performance and is followed by a recording of one of Elvis’ last onstage appearances. In this later clip, the King has aged visibly, and while he retains a portion of his former grace, the hesitation and tremble in his voice and posture hint at his imminent demise. As a counterpoint to the Elvis footage, American outsider musician Daniel Johnston appears onscreen in a performance of his song “Casper the Friendly Ghost.” As the film goes on, the laptop begins to rotate slowly on its own axis. With multiple levels of presentation – found footage, browser window, moving pedestal and film projection – Sasnal crafts a complex document of isolation and melancholia, accentuating the loneliness of a rock icon in decline.

Born in Poland in 1972, Sasnal has forged an outstanding career and today ranks as one of the most successful contemporary artists internationally. Besides his paintings, for which he has utilized a variety of media, including news photographs, snapshots, films, comic strips and imagery from his own drawings, Sasnal has created numerous installations and films that reflect his bricoleur’s approach to the invention of an artistic brand or style.

For more information please contact Gianni Jetzer at jet@swissinstitute.net

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Untitled, 2007 Courtesy Hauser & Wirth London/ Zurich and Anton Kern Gallery, New York