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Date created
Tue, Nov 26, 2013
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Lecture by Stephen G. Rhodes at The Ateliers, Amsterdam

Image Stephen G. Rhodes, The Law of the Unknown Neighbor, 2013

Stephen G. Rhodes, The Law of the Unknown Neighbor, 2013

Very good lecture by Stephen G. Rhodes (US, 1977) last night at The Ateliers in Amsterdam. Stephen was juggling with representation. He made a beautiful, or better said evocative, 13-minute video referring to the German bibliophile Aby Warburg‘s (DE, 1866–1929) visits to the Western USA, to Hopi Indians, Indian snake voodoo rituals buy papers online, Indian lightning mythology (Walter De Maria‘s (US, 1935) installation Lightning Field (1977) features prominently), and the ultimate displacement of Indians by an imported black population. Given that, back in Germany, Warburg was placed in an psychiatric institution added a layer of impenetrability, either good or distracting. The well-crafted videos, which took 1½ year to make, became more or less illegible through their installation on ceiling fans, with the images subsequently rotating over a landscape of hospital curtains with centrifugally placed plastic snake fields below. Rhodes lamented on the brief attention each visitor was giving to the installation, but felt that the reference to the madhouse was an important one, and thus in the end prevalent over a more legible solution. A very commendable position. All this presently on view at the Migros Museum in Zurich. Stephan G. Rhodes’ The Law of the Unknown Neighbor: Inferno Romanticized, through Sunday, April 21, 2013.