Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 7:30pm
Jonathan Horowitz

In an evening exploring the subject of documentary genres, from cinéma vérité to reality TV, Jonathan Horowitz screens his new video, Apocalypto Now (2009), along with an early, rarely seen video, Making Pharaoh’s Red Flag Video (1988). The videos will be presented within the context of a prerecorded “live” introduction/monologue. The artist will be present to answer questions afterward.

“The work of the American artist Jonathan Horowitz (*1966) employs the technique of montage much like a music DJ samples bits and pieces of songs. Scenes from classic movies are combined with obscure bits of media detritus to make critical connections between disparate narratives. At the same time, Horowitz presents singular and incisive new narratives, which powerfully reflect on important issues of the day.

Apocalypto Now is made entirely from found documentary and narrative movie and TV footage. Its primary structure is taken from a documentary on the history of the Hollywood disaster movie. Footage from documentaries on climate change and scenes from movies reenacting the 9/11 World Trade Center attack are intercut. Connections are drawn between disaster as entertainment, real life catastrophe, and the apocalyptic beliefs of religious fundamentalists.

The central figure connecting these strands is the actor/director Mel Gibson. In interview footage, Gibson talks about his personal struggles with addiction, which led him to a renewal of his Catholic faith and to making the movie The Passion of the Christ. As with other players in Apocalypto Now, (self)destructive impulses are channeled through religion and art, to a variety of often disturbing ends. Gibson, however, is not always successful in containing these impulses, as his public relations catastrophes attest.”

- Exhibition brochure, Museum Ludwig

Jonathan Horowitz is an artist living in New York. A retrospective of his work is currently on view at P.S.1.

Tickets - $7, available at door.