The Italian artist Marco Brambilla—the mind behind projects like Marina Abramovic’s opera, Seven Deaths of Maria Callas, and the video installation The Four Temperaments featuring Cate Blanchett—has engulfed Hudson Yards with a captivating preview of his forthcoming work Heaven’s Gate (2021). Fragments of the work, a satirical and hallucinogenic critique on Hollywood and the cult of celebrity, are being shown on 65 colossal screens across the public square and gardens, as well as inside the shops.
The full augmented reality (AR) work will be exhibited at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (Pamm) starting 17 June and remain on view until 2022. The museum iteration will feature a totem-like arrangement of screens showing visually disorienting snippets of looping film that traverse through several haunting and surreal landscapes.
Brambilla was inspired by a 1980 Western of the same title by the American director Michael Cimino that cost around $117m to make but flopped at the box office, thus bankrupting the United Artists film studio and disgracing the director. The reference aims to evoke ideas around the concept of the “celebrity dream machine”, and an individual's rise and (perhaps inevitable?) fall.
In collaboration with the French fashion house Maison Margiela, the artist is also presenting an expanded iteration of his video installation Nude Descending a Staircase No. 3 at the Margiela store in Soho. The work reflects on Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 (1912) and reimagines the static Futurist painting in an animated, fragmented form across 11 screens. It will serve as a backdrop for the avant-garde retailer until 6 July. The work may feel familiar to some who can still remember Art Basel Miami Beach in 2019, where it was shown as a video projection on the façade of the Margiela flagship store in the Miami Design District.