Black Mirror

June 20 – September 25, 2011
Deste Foundation Project Space, Slaughterhouse, Hydra Island
For the live theater performance dates click here.

DESTE’s Project Space on the island of Hydra was established in 2009 in the island’s former Slaughterhouse, a mysterious yet evocative site that provides a hyper-charged, unusual exhibition environment. While the space has been recently restored and renovated, it still holds the features and traits of the past, preserving the original elements of its old identity. Since 2009, the space is assigned every summer to a different artist, who is invited to stage a site-specific exhibition.

This year, DESTE is pleased to present Black Mirror by American artist Doug Aitken. Black Mirror explores the story of a nomadic individual, set in a modern wilderness: a geography constructed of calls, electronic messages, and virtual documents superimposed over the physical world.

It is a portrait of people who are the products of a world that has lost track of information and is saturated with change. The characters move in shorthand, they communicate in quick pulses, they travel long distances for short meetings. They depart quickly.

The protagonist, a young woman played by Chloë Sevigny, exists in the borderless world of Black Mirror where people live fast nomadic lives in the shadows. These are the people you pass and don’t identify at the airport terminal, the hotel lobby and the car rental kiosk.

Black Mirror explores modern life accelerated. Like a river of light moving on the highway, we’re all on this road, but this is the story of those for whom the road is existence; those who don’t step back to breathe the air, those who never stagnate or stop… this is “the now.”

Black Mirror is an artwork in multiple forms – a site specific multi-channel video installation that will be presented in DESTE’s Project Space on Hydra Island, Greece and, in synchronicity, a live theatre performance set on a uniquely designed barge floating off Athens and Hydra Island.

The video installation will transform the interior of the old Slaughterhouse into a space literally covered in black mirrors to create a black-mirrored kaleidoscope. Inside the vortex-like reflective room, the 5-channel synchronized film installation will play the work, to create an evocative personal story of modern movement.

The unique live theater work created by Doug Aitken, will create a single story through multiple film projections and with live actors, including Chloë Sevigny, gospel singers, male and female strippers, musicians and a whipper to create a unique original work. A live musical score will accompany the piece, performed by Los Angeles underground rock duo No Age and Greek percussionists.

The Black Mirror exhibition is produced by the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art.

The Black Mirror live theater performance is produced by the Athens Festival in collaboration with the Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art. The performance was also made possible by the Burger Collection.

Video Stills from Black Mirror by Doug Aitken: