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David Cronenberg answers your questions #1

July 25th, 2006

Alex T asks:

Do you approach putting an art show together the same way as a film? And do you take into account the way Warhol put his art exhibits together when you did this show?

David Cronenberg answers:

Andy, being the sort of anti-conservative, anti-establishment guy that he was, usually just said show it any way you want. So in a way I have listened to Andy in that we did it any way we wanted. He was a voyeur, even of himself and his own stuff and he would say "I am interested in what you do. So just do it". He wasn’t like most artists that way. For example, he doesn’t sign any of his paintings. You won’t see an Andy Warhol signature and that is very unusual. That had to do with the essence of pop art, which was to subvert the classic notion of art as a unique, hand-made object that was precious. He wanted to modify it and make it a mass-produced product, easily accessible to everyone. Like a tin of tuna, that might be poisonous.

On the other hand, it was interesting to me to know that Andy was the ultimate mult-tasker. People who knew him often said he was doing twenty things at once and in his factory he would have the movies being projected on the walls, while also shooting a movie in another area and producing silkscreens in another area. So the idea of projecting his movies on the walls is almost like music. They are not movies you are necessarily meant to sit and watch for eight hours, reverently. That would not be Andy. The idea is that they should be on the wall behind you, while you are working, like music. Something you sometimes focus on and have your favourite moments and then you turn out and turn back in. That is what, I think, he had in mind.

There are hardcore Warhol film fanatics who would totally disagree with me. But most people would not sit there and watch more than eight hours of the empire state building. But it is fantastic to be in the room when it changes and that happened when we were doing the installation. We had all the films playing on the wall first, and put the paintings up later and we were constantly looking up and seeing moments in the films and be taken aback and surprised. Especially when they were directly connected to the paintings we selected.

I have heard from people that knew him well that he would have loved the show, in particular that everyone is walking around with this thing stuck to their ear, listening to the audio guide because it is kind of strange to see.

  • Chrigui

    I am a Phd student in semiotics of cinema in montreal. I would like to work on a film project with you.

  • Chrigui

    I am a Phd student in semiotics of cinema in montreal. I would like to work on a film project with you.