Aldo Tambellini: Retracing Black
curated by Pia Bolognesi and Giulio Bursi with Stuart Comer
9–14 October 2012 at The Tanks, Tate Modern
Screening: Starr Auditorium, Saturday 13 October 18h
Performance: Saturday 13 October 21h
With Retracing Black, after almost fifty years, Aldo Tambellini goes back to the roots of New York’s darkest underground scene, creating a multimedia installation that originates from his experiences with the pictorial manipulation of the image and results in a reflection on the transition from video to experimental performance. In this new work, the abstract expressionism and sculptural materiality explored by the artist merge into a synaesthetic triptych, which portrays the internal collapse of the dogmas and icons of the American consumer society.
Going back to the traditional canons of expanded cinema and multimedia environment, Retracing Black reflects on the sensory mutation of the cinematic and videographic element, subverting found footage and TV-collage practices to provide the figurative element with an absolute, definite identity.
In addition to the Tanks installation, a screening of Tambellini's films will take place on 13 October at 18h, followed by two key performances, Black Zero (1965) and Moondial (1966), which will be re-staged on Saturday 13 October at 21h. These early examples of multimedia performance will transform the Tanks into a hypnotic and mystical environment incorporating projections, dance, live music and sound.
Aldo Tambellini (b.1930) is a revolutionary figure who pioneered multimedia and multisensory work at the heart of the New York avant-garde during the 1960s. A major recreation of his electromedia events will highlight his innovative incorporation of painting, performance, slide and film projections, video and sound to create dazzling, immersive media environments. Tambellini has been devoted to political and creative change throughout his career. He was one of the earliest artists to use video and television as a medium, and he helped to establish several collectives and venues in New York's Lower East Side—including Group Center, The Gate Theatre, The Black Gate Theatre, and collaborations with dancers, musicians and the Umbra Poets, a group of black poets and activists with whom he met regularly—that contributed substantially to the development of cross-disciplinary art.