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2006 07 11
The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby Warhol AGO Show CRASHED By David Cronenberg
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Cronenberg co-curated, Supernova: Stars, Deaths and Disasters, 1962 - 1964, opened at the AGO Saturday and the parallel Hollywood, 1960's universe that inspired Warhol's best work has found a worm-hole into the 21st century TRANSFORMATION that will become the new AGO. Owing its genesis to the Zeitgeist that was post-war American culture where speed and death were no obstacles to having fun on a Saturday night the work by Warhol crashed together here by Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg is some of his best but the films as you'd expect from a show curated by a filmmaker make this exhibit a must see to anyone who has any pretensions to understanding art and culture. We've all seen the paintings before. The ubiquitous death tinged "16 Jackies" mash up against multiples of Hollywoods greatest stars including a young Elizabeth Taylor all with a screaming death wish that Cronenberg brings out through some deft montages with kids shot through the windshields of their dads shiny eight-cylinder four-hundred horsepower Buicks or pitilessly crushed under the black tires of an eighteen wheeler: Stars for as long as people kept the headlines which yellowed in time except for those resurrected by Warhol into Kandy-Kolored beauties who never age beyond their fifteen minutes of fame in the machine that is media. image
Andy Warhol was often blamed for Edie Sedgwick's descent into drug addiction and mental illness. However, before meeting Warhol, Edie had been in mental hospitals twice and came from a family with a history of mental illness. She was only close to Warhol for about a year, from approximately March 1965 to February 1966.

Another fallacy was that Warhol ditched Edie after using her up whereas the truth was that it was Edie's decision to leave the Factory, lured by promises of stardom by Bob Dylan and his manager, leaving Andy feeling slightly betrayed.
But it is the films that make this show one of the most powerful in memory as they slap down our facile obsession with reality shows by showing the relentlessness of the cold, objective, static lens of Warhols machine-driven view of the world and the people who made his universe. I fell in love again with an image last Saturday night like I did years ago as a kid when watching Warhol's "Screen Test" where a simultaneously young, defiant, wretched, and beautiful Edie Sedgwick watched the camera watching her with a Lithium calm in a New York that was still dangerous as Warhol found out when shot through and through in the factory's stairwell. As Cronenberg says in the show's publicity notes:
I think the power of what he has done and the intensity of it, the heavy philosophy of it, will be quite a shock to people who only know Warhol as a pop artist who wore a silver wig. I think a lot of people think of him as a dilettant. This is a very intense show, very intense.
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 07/11 at 12:27 PM

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