The Credit Card Collection
Official launch of Ecstatic Surface Collection 2011 – October, 14th 2011
Last but not least, a superdeluxe thanks to Nel & Anne-Marie and to all the SPRMRKT family.
A heartful thank you to Ella, Sieger and Karlijn for helping us building up the show.
And a special thanks to SSP Drukkerij Amsterdam, our favorite printer!
The Feast of Trimalchio, AES+F
The group that makes up AES+F consists of four Russian-born artists:
Tatiana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky, and Vladimir Fridkes.
The Feast of Trimalchio (via http://www.aes-group.org)
In the ‘Satyricon’, the work of the great wit and melancholic lyric poet of Nero’s reign, Gaius Petronius Arbiter, the best preserved part is ‘The Feast of Trimalchio’ (Cena Trimalchionis). Thanks to Petronius’s fantasy, Trimalchio’s name became synonymous with wealth and luxury, with gluttony and with unbridled pleasure in contrast to the brevity of human existence.
We searched for an analogue in the third millennium and Trimalchio, the former slave, the nouveau riche host of feasts lasting several days, appeared to us not so much as an individual as a collective image of a luxurious hotel, a temporary paradise which one has to pay to enter.
The hotel guests, the ‘masters’, are from the land of the Golden Billion. They’re keen to spend their time, regardless of the season, as guests of the present-day Trimalchio, who has created the most exotic and luxurious hotel possible. The hotel miraculously combines a tropical coastline with a ski resort. The ‘masters’ wear white which calls to mind the uniform of the righteous in the Garden of Eden, or traditional colonial dress, or a summer fashion collection. The ‘masters’ possess all of the characteristics of the human race – they are all ages and types and from all social backgrounds. Here is the university professor, the broker, the society beauty, the intellectual. Trimalchio’s ‘servants’ are young, attractive representatives of all continents who work in the vast hospitality industry as housekeeping staff, waiters, chefs, gardeners, security guards and masseurs. They are dressed in traditional uniforms with an ethnic twist. The ‘servants’ resemble the brightly-colored angels of a Garden of Eden to which the ‘masters’ are only temporarily admitted.
On one hand the atmosphere of ‘The Feast of Trimalchio’ can be seen as bringing together the hotel rituals of leisure and pleasure (massage and golf, the pool and surfing). On the other hand the ‘servants’ are more than attentive service-providers. They are participants in an orgy, bringing to life any fantasy of the ‘masters’, from gastronomic to erotic. At times the ‘masters’ unexpectedly end up in the role of ‘servants’. Both become participants in an orgiastic gala reception, a dinner in the style of Roman saturnalia when slaves, dressed as patricians, reclined at table and their masters, dressed in slaves’ tunics, served them.
Every so often the delights of ‘The Feast of Trimalchio’ are spoiled by catastrophes which encroach on the Global Paradise…
Translated by Ruth Addison
Civilisation, Marco Brambilla
Marco Brambilla (born 1964, Milan, Italy) is an Italian-born Canadian artist and filmmaker who works in the United States.
Civilization is a video installation by the artist/director Marco Brambilla for the elevators Standard Hotel in NYC. It’s comprised of over 400 video clips and it takes elevator passengers on a trip from hell to heaven as they go up or from heaven to hell as they go down.
Power, Kanye West by Marco Brambilla
Kanye West has commissioned a video work by critically acclaimed artist, Marco Brambilla, to accompany the release of his single “Power” from his upcoming album. The video piece was released in August 2010. Inspired by Michelangelo’s frescos in the Sistine Chapel, the piece depicts a faux historical moment – an empire on the brink of collapse from its own excess, decadence and corruption.