Currently featured at the Stockholm Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art) and running though May 4th is a unique exhibition on Andy Warhol. The emphasis of the show is on his films and videos and never before have I seen such an extensive collection of this work in one place. 31 films, 40 screen tests , 6 videos and 42 TV episodes. In the center of the room are huge thin screens of film projected simultaneously in the so-called Filmscape. Some of his most famous films are there including Sleep
, a film of a man at rest for a length of 5 hours and 20 minutes, The Poor Little Rich Girl
, an homage to the film by the same title starring Shirley Temple and featuring the “it girl” Edie Sedgwick. Andy’s mother in gaudy key light can be seen ironing his underwear and you can also see Empire
, a film devoted to the elegant Empire State Building in New York filmed for almost six hours. Sedgwick is also in a video called Outer and Inner Space
in a double screen composition. Warhol was one of the first to work in video and in another room are tables with video monitors of for example Andy Warhol TV where he meets celebrities such as Pee Wee Herman from his clubhouse days.
Warhol’s multi-artistic explorations represent the essence of pop culture, the understatement of the obvious and on film this is especially true. Andy said of himself that there is nothing beneath his art. You get what you see. His childlike and carefree ability to make interesting films would escape someone else trying hard to create a story. One example is the mock attack of two women in central park who are rescued by passerbys. His films are not full of depth but are light and in the moment exercises. Perhaps that is what is so refreshing about him. His work does not mean so much on a profound level and is exactly what it purports to be. Highbrow art it is not - he simply worked in a totally different direction, which is why he was disliked so much. And yet there is still an artifice to his work. It ultimately is carefully constructed even in the moment. There is also a conscious expression of homoerotic culture. Warhol’s talent is in placing objects and people in just the right array in order to create an experience. This exhibition is full of rich encounters.
For Movie Magazine this is Moira Sullivan, Stockholm SWEDEN
© 2008 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 2/08
Andy Warhol Films at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm SWEDEN