ROBERT WILSON. DORIAN and THE DAYS BEFORE: death, destruction and detroit III

We are delighted to present “DORIAN and THE DAYS BEFORE: death, destruction and detroit III”, Robert Wilson’s first solo exhibition at Beck & Eggeling. Opening one day after the world premiere of Robert Wilson's new play “Dorian” at the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus, the exhibition features drawings, design and a video work by one of the most eclectic and influential artists working today.

The “Father’s Chair”, of which two versions in black and white lacquered wood are juxtaposed in the exhibition, was designed by Robert Wilson for his 1999 play “THE DAYS BEFORE: death, destruction and detroit III”. In general, furniture is a central element of his plays, and as a carrier of meaning at par with the actors. Even though they have been removed from their original context, they retain their power as sculptural objects and exist as independent works of art. In a series of graphite drawings, Robert Wilson approaches the theme of the chair again and again in ever new variations. In a sense, the repetitive moment detaches the drawings from the subject, while the constantly new graphic approach brings them near to emotional states. The series of drawings on “Dorian” functions similarly, yet the figure itself remains at the centre of the works. It stays mysterious, however, and is more of an idea than an individual. On the one hand, Robert Wilson quotes his own stage character 'Dorian', who appears in parts of the play in a black trench coat and hat. On the other hand, he traces everything back to Jack Kerouac's novel character “Doctor Sax”, a figure that has inspired him again and again since he acquired a drawing of “Doctor Sax” by Jack Kerouac's hand many years ago. As early as 2006, for example, American actor Sean Penn stood in the mask of “Doctor Sax” as a model for one of Robert Wilson's video portraits. Parts of the associativetext of “Dorian”, which the Americ...

The “Father’s Chair”, of which two versions in black and white lacquered wood are juxtaposed in the exhibition, was designed by Robert Wilson for his 1999 play “THE DAYS BEFORE: death, destruction and detroit III”. In general, furniture is a central element of his plays, and as a carrier of meaning at par with the actors. Even though they have been removed from their original context, they retain their power as sculptural objects and exist as independent works of art. In a series of graphite drawings, Robert Wilson approaches the theme of the chair again and again in ever new variations. In a sense, the repetitive moment detaches the drawings from the subject, while the constantly new graphic approach brings them near to emotional states. The series of drawings on “Dorian” functions similarly, yet the figure itself remains at the centre of the works. It stays mysterious, however, and is more of an idea than an individual. On the one hand, Robert Wilson quotes his own stage character 'Dorian', who appears in parts of the play in a black trench coat and hat. On the other hand, he traces everything back to Jack Kerouac's novel character “Doctor Sax”, a figure that has inspired him again and again since he acquired a drawing of “Doctor Sax” by Jack Kerouac's hand many years ago. As early as 2006, for example, American actor Sean Penn stood in the mask of “Doctor Sax” as a model for one of Robert Wilson's video portraits. Parts of the associative text of “Dorian”, which the American playwright and author Darryl Pinckney created from the “Dorian Gray” material by combining it with the biography and famous bon mots of Oscar Wilde, the story of Francis Bacon and his lover George Dyer and even Peggy Lee’s “Alley Cat Song”, are performed by Robert Wilson himself, accompanied by a violin solo composed for the piece.

Robert Wilson transforms the gallery into a space for imagination just like he moulds the stage for his theatre projects. He associatively combines the individual elements of the show – works, light, music, text – into a “Gesamtkunstwerk”, which the viewer is not only meant to see, but rather to experience. With diverse references to art and literature, high and popular culture, his own work and his own biography, he weaves multiple levels of meaning around the exhibition that challenge the viewer to take an associative approach to the experience. 



For more information and dates for “Dorian“ please check the Schauspielhaus website:
www.dhaus.de

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