Robert Wilson: Lady Gaga: Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière
16 Sep – 20 Nov 2016

This autumn, Darkroom presents Lady Gaga: Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière (2013), a video portrait by American artist Robert Wilson (born 1941). Wilson is a versatile artist known for impressive theatre and opera productions in which he has served as stage director and playwright as well as for his work as choreographer, sound and lighting designer, performer and visual artist who has work in the collections of several major art museums.

In 2004 Wilson began making video portraits featuring a number of celebrities, including Brad Pitt, Winona Ryder, Alan Cumming, Jeanne Moreau, Johnny Depp, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Steve Buscemi, Sean Penn and Robert Downey Jr. Wilson’s collaboration with avant-garde queen of pop Lady Gaga in 2013 expanded to comprise 22 different video portraits partly inspired by known works in the history of art. Gaga’s portraits received their debut at the Louvre, which also has in its collection Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ (1780–1867) painting Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière (1806), the work that inspired the portrait now presented at Turku Art Museum.

In the arresting portrait, Lady Gaga, dressed as Caroline Rivière, remains motionless in front of the camera. The tear rolling down her cheek poignantly recalls the 15-year-old mademoiselle who tragically died shortly after the completion of her portrait. The work also stands testimony to the restraint, concentration and fleeting emotions of Lady Gaga, who posed for nearly 11 hours in the same position during the filming.

The portrait represents a synthesis of Wilson’s creative work, as it encompasses costume, make-up, set design, lighting and sound design, as well as gesture and narrative. Presented as a seamless loop, the portrait blurs the lines between still photography and moving image, between model and subject and between reality and imagination, revealing Wilson’s brilliant sense of drama and a visual acuity that can whisper just as well as shout. The music is composed by Michael Galasso.

www.robertwilson.com

Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2014