“The word “unwatchable” is the ultimate insult in film criticism. But when “unwatchable” movie images are kidnapped off of the screen, isolated out of context, edited together with phony credits and hung on the wall to form new low-concept narratives, these hostage film stills can no longer be “watched,” they must be “seen.” Suddenly, going to the movies can never be a disappointment.”
Waters’ quote wonderfully illustrates his working method in the “fine” art medium of photography over the past 15 years. He attempts to translate the experience of watching a movie, even a bad one, into seeing a selective new high-concept version that may have nothing to do with the original film.
Featured in this exhibition are several new photographs alongside recent installations. Each of the pieces tells a new story, frame by frame, until the original source material has been transformed into the John Waters “re-make.” The art world, celebrity miscreants, politicians and Waters himself are not spared from his satirical directorial glare in these incisive new cinematic story boards.
“From the bad real estate of the director’s chair,” Waters hopes to translate his insider show-biz knowledge into an “artistically incorrect” celebration of the ludicrous and wonderful extremes in both the film and art world he so loves.
John Waters was born in 1946 in Baltimore. In 2004, his exhibition John Waters: Change of Life premiered at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York and traveled to the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; The Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; and The Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA. A fully-illustrated 96-page catalogue is available in the 21c Gift Shop.