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Hollywood Archaeology Show by Lowell Darling in Berlin, Germany

Thu Dec 07, 2006 00:00 - Wed Nov 22, 2006

Lowell Darling’s Hollywood Archaeology

Not the art form known as cinema, not film as a medium, but the idea of Hollywood as a newly discovered, long-lost mytho-poetic civilization holding in its material remains, the secret to the culture out of which it arose.
When former President Reagan found himself unable to recall with distinction, which memories in his past were based on reality, and which were remembered from films depicting contemporaneous events, the line between these two forms of reality were blurred in an interesting way. I recognized how pervasive were the ongoing efforts of Hollywood to create a seamlessly blurred sense of history. It is this blur that Darling has explored in all of his Hollywood Archeology (HA) works.
HA began with fieldwork, and Darling’s method was clear. He collected material samples, and conducted interviews with individuals who seemed to have had primary experiences of that lost place, though many of them were unclear about how real their own memories were. In fact, to insure that his subjects were a bit blurry, he chose as his representative community the assembly of ex-prizefighters and professional wrestlers who served as heavies in B-movies of the 30’s and 40’s. Darling worked with the video artist Ilene Segalove during this period of his career, and together they produced a memorable and important series of video works based on a series of superbly sensitive and revealing interviews.
What Darling found were scraps, strips and in some case single frames of 35mm film. Scraps that told tantalizingly ambiguous stories that no one ever tell, as well as images from films so deeply etched into our collective consciousness that one frame recalls an entire motion picture.
Hollywood Archeology has a place somewhere between the great film works of Bruce Connor and the collage drawings of Ray Johnson. It is uncanny, and strangely beautiful. In this work, we sense that Darling’s exploration of the blur, as well as his ongoing attempts to get us all to live comfortably somewhere in the blur zone, are one and the same effort.

Opening: 7th December 2006
Exhibiton: 8th-23rd December 2006
Galerie Lecoq, Mulackstr. 6, Berlin
Organizer: Der Erste Stock