Andrew Norman Wilson (US, 1983)
Residency period: September-December 2020
Art Director is an audio-visual composition about the social imaginary embodied in vernacular Los Angeles architecture, street performers and motorists. Featuring Bavarian shopping plazas, an animatronic dinosaur car wash, and a “Native American”-themed Taiwanese restaurant alongside cosplayers and celebrity impersonators, the video focuses on the way in which Hollywood fantasies are transformed off the screen, throughout Los Angeles, as if the city’s residents desire to live amidst the set constructions and characters of the movies made there. Shot from a customised camera-vehicle rig, a trance-like sequence of slow-motion, deep-focus 180° pans accentuate the incongruous presence of these symbols amongst that which surrounds them, revealing their artifice and materiality through the gradual approach of the camera. Suddenly, a gang of Star Wars cosplayers interrupt the production by stealing the camera from the directors, introducing a high-stakes chase sequence into this fantastical documentary. The soundtrack consists of interwoven intermezzos, intros and transitions sampled from popular music to suggest various interiorities behind these surfaces while constantly moving between them.
Andrew Norman Wilson is a Los Angeles-based visual artist, director and curator who works in video, sculpture, photography and performance. His practice combines scientific and narrative techniques to erase the historical distinction between science and culture. His work has recently been exhibited at Kunstverein Braunschweig, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Luma Arles, the Centre for Contemporary Art Futura in Prague, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Broad Art Museum in Michigan, the Gwangju Biennale and the Berlin Biennale.