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The Los Angeles County Museum of Art will be premiering Loris Gréaud’s new feature film Sculpt next month. The museum’s Bing Theater will be the sole formal venue for this a-typical project from the artist.
Sculpt already appears to be something more of an urban legend than a movie: its trailer is approaching 700,000 views (a number more usually associated to Hollywood block busters than experimental museum films). The red color of the entire film has been meticulously readjusted in the studio to match that of last September’s total lunar eclipse (also known as “the blood moon”). The soundtrack of the film by The Residents constitutes the band’s first artistic collaboration in the past 45 years. Participating actors include Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Rampling, Michael Lonsdale, Claude Parent, a voodoo queen priestess, and more.
In addition to being only screened officially at the LACMA, the film will be shown to only one audience member at a time. The purpose of this arrangement is to offer an intimate experience to each viewer within an immersive environment. This unlikely form of distribution also mirrors accurately the content of the film’s script which follows the thoughts of a man (played by Dafoe) who “collects moments.” Through his practice, he seems to be constantly developing the concept of what experiencing beauty, thought, or obsession can be, despite the risks to which the subjects are exposed in the long term. The audience will be experiencing and collecting, as well, individually. The film’s content will be interpreted differently by each solitary visitor, thus redering the collected moment unique in each case. “Gréaud is rethinking cinema in form, content, and its relationship to audience,” said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO.
Loris Gréaud’s aspiration for this feature is grand: he wants to transform fiction into reality. Watching the film and being in it, or part of it, will all intertwine and become an indistinguishable experience. To accomplish the transcendence/immanence of form-content-audience he resorted to various shemes, notably physical phenomenons such as the möbius strip, a famous mathematical marvel consisting in a circular strip whose surface is inconspicuously both on the inside and outside without having to cross any edges. “The main goal was the original idea: a Möbius strip dynamic. How to make a fiction into reality by mutating its status? How the film could become in our reality one of the ‘objects’ it tries to describe in its fiction? This has been the constant aesthetic question and obsession of the project,” he told Whitewall when we visited his studio in Paris a few weeks ago.
Gréaud added that he liked the idea of the duration of the film being changeable, although it is a full-length feature film. The projection in the context of the show at LACMA will be between 50 and 125 minutes. Sculpt will be screened daily from August 16 and all screenings are free. Tickets will be released in the morning on the day of each performance on site (see showtimes here).
Due to the nature of the project and the uncertainty of the longevity of the loan, the film will be screened for an indeterminate period. Viewer discretion is advised and ticket holders must be aged 18 or above.