The Silence of Marcel Duchamp

The title of this live filmperformance comes from a graffiti – the silence of Marcel Duchamp is overrated – found on a wall in an abandoned pier on the West Side Highway in New York City. The piers were a meeting ground for gay sexual encounters in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Partly in ruins, with long hallways, open rooms, broken windows, all surrounded by water, the piers were photographed, written about and filmed before they were torn down by the 90’s. The piers no longer occupy a physical space but they have since evolved into a historic artistic presence, becoming a metaphor for a shared past.

The performance includes music by John Zorn: Beuysblock, a portrait of the late artist Joseph Beuys. It begins with images of the pier, male torsos, cave like drawings, urinals, the Hudson River, a spectacle memorializes the creatures that inhabited the piers. Toy soldiers seen through broken shards of glass are a playful take on the „Uzi“ machine gun, referencing his expatriate Israeli and Jewish upbringing. His torn Barbie dolls and drag divas are superimposed on Troyano’s projections: a burst of fireworks and ballerina shadow play. What appears to be an image of a graphic fence is a projected fragment of a small mesh evening bag, one of the few things her mother was able to bring from her native La Habana, Cuba.
by Uzi Parnes, Ela Troyano USA 2010 30’

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