Rong Zhai, Shanghai – With the patronage of Fondazione Prada, Prada will present “Rubber Pencil Devil,” an exhibition by American artist Alex Da Corte. The project will open from 13 November 2020 to 17 January 2021 at Prada Rong Zhai, Shanghai.
Conceptualized in 2018, “Rubber Pencil Devil” is a video work composed of 57 chapters and a prologue. In Rong Zhai, the artist will present the project in a site-specific exhibition format, featuring 51 of the 57 acts on 19 large rear-pro-jection multi-colored video cubes displayed on the two main floors of the building.
“Rubber Pencil Devil” is a looping, two-hour-40-minute stream of highly stylized videos. These are inspired by a broad range of iconographical and cultural references from vintage television imagery to 20th-century animation, from queer icons to campy Americana. Da Corte’s artwork functions as a hypnotically slow choreography performed by popular and recognizable figures.
Manipulating and repurposing consumer culture and art history, Alex Da Corte examines themes of alienation and human desire with subversive humor and psychological introspection. His intellectually provocative, exuberant, and absurd fantasies provide a critical take on modern reality and try to “reimagine normative systems of power” to generate “new ideas and new beginnings.”
One of “Rubber Pencil Devil” performers is Da Corte himself, who mutates into various food puppets and iconic characters such as Pink Panther, Sylvester the Cat, Mister Rogers, and the devil.
According to Da Corte, “Rubber Pencil Devil” is a “Gesamtkunstwerk,” a total work of art, an immersive experience combining video, music, and architecture, rich in allusions to avant-garde visual artists, experimental writers, pop singers, show-biz personalities, and cartoon characters. – GM
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