Whitney Biennial 2014
Audio Guide Playlist

Hear directly from artists as they discuss the thoughts, processes, and ideas behind their work in the 2014 Biennial. The guide also features commentary from Biennial curators Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms, and Michelle Grabner.


DASHIELL MANLEY: My name is Dashiell Manley. 

 

NARRATOR: Manley used the canvas side of the large panels on view here as sets for the stop-motion video that plays on a monitor nearby. On the other side of the panels, he’s attached drawings, props, lighting gels, and other detritus from the process of making the video. Together, the sets and video are a kind of remake of the 1903 film The Great Train Robbery

 

DASHIELL MANLEY: I’d had the desire to remake a film for a very long period of time. I’ve been interested in the remake as not only a strategy but interested in the idea of Western culture telling the same story over and over again. And making that story contemporary, by either technology―the technology used to make the film or tell the story―or altering the story to kind of fit into the current moment. 

 

NARRATOR: Mixing painting, video, and other media, Manley almost seems to create his own technological solution to the problem of remaking the film. The results don’t really add up either, from a technological or from a narrative perspective—this Great Train Robbery is more remix than remake. But questions about what it means to revisit an old film permeate the work down to its details. Take a look at the canvases that serve as backgrounds for the actions performed in Manley’s video. 

DASHIELL MANLEY: Also on the canvas side is an over-painting of these characters or glyphs, and these are an early twentieth-century form of shorthand that has been slightly abstracted for this purpose.

I was interested in what shorthand signified, the attempt of the human being to become a machine in order to record and the potential parallel that could exist between that and some of the aspirations of movie cameras and how obsolete that technology is today.

I made a connection between obsolescence and contemporary popular filmmaking today.

Oftentimes the driving force behind the remake in a Hollywood film, (at least being that the prior version of, say, an action film had become obsolete), the reason being the technology that we watch these things on today is too advanced, so the film literally visually falls apart in front of your eyes. Therefore it needs to be remade.


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