Ari Marcopoulos, Machine, 2017, Installation view, galerie frank elbaz, Paris Photo: Raphael Fanelli
galerie frank elbaz is proud to announce the second solo show of Ari Marcopoulos at the gallery in
Andy Warhol said he wished he could be
a machine but I'm not about all that, not exactly. I use a Machine, several in
fact - sometimes a Leica, Canon, Contax, or Hasselblad - to take pictures with.
Why? It's hard to explain, it’s easier to just look and to find
patterns, repetition is key. These days everyone has a camera in their pocket
and in the Warhol sense they have become machines, empty recorders continually
taking aim at the time, trying to capture the elusive and the mundane. The trouble
is that time slips away and fades anyway. I make books, zines, and films as a
way to extend the life of the photograph, to make it move.
For my show at galerie frank elbaz I am
considering the filmic quality of still photographs, making fast photocopies
and slower color pigment prints, with the intention of papering the walls with
thousands of images. I have been
selecting photos from my extensive archive, guided mostly by intuition, this allows
me to regroup old and new and to see the patterns within my work. I have been
taking wayward paths across time, in predominantly recent work with diversions. The range of places I’ve been and the people I have
encountered are what guide me, those people include edge dwellers, skaters, rap
gods, athletes, kids, trees, graffiti, faces, tangles, and cars.
Noise, exertion and rebellion and chaos
have always been my métier and so for
the first time I’m building an ambitious machine of my own, an 8-channel video
contraption to show a randomized array of my rarely seen short films. The collection of works in view represents a broad range of images of the
past and the present. The Machine
adds the element of time and the cacophony of place to portraiture.
The Park is a 58-minute silent movie with one cut that fixes its gaze on an open basketball
court in Brooklyn. I’m captivated by the everyday life of the park, the players
challenging each other, the play of light and shadow in the physical but also
the emotional sense. Situated across from the Walt Whitman housing projects,
the basketball court becomes a site of freedom and expressivity. Its the only
court I know of in New York that has no fence around it, so the court’s
activity blends seamlessly with life around it. The New York Housing Authority
has effectively cut off its denizens from the main street, and so, The Park is a microcosm of street life
Ari Marcopoulos (b. in 1957 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, USA) has had solo exhibitions at New
Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA, USA; Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA,
USA and Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, the Netherlands, among others. His
work has been featured in The Whitney Biennal, Whitney Museum of American Art, New
York, NY, USA twice and in the Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil along
with group exhibitions at Camden Arts Centre, London, UK; Wattis Institute, San
Francisco, CA, USA; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; Centre Culturel Suisse,
Paris, France, among others. His videos have been screened at the Museum of
Modern Art, New York, NY, USA; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, USA and San
Francisco International Film Festival, San Francisco, CA, USA. Editorials by Marcopoulos appeared in magazines
such as Kaleidoscope, Purple, DazedandConfused and W.
Ari Marcopoulos, Excerpts from the Machine, 2017 8 screen video installation, 22'33''