A Brief History of John Baldessari
Narrated by Tom Waits, a pop documentary about "The guy who put dots over people's faces".
2012 | 5 - 10 | Art | Documentary | Experimental | USA | 2012
How will John Baldessari be remembered in a 100 years? As “The guy who put dots over people’s faces”, answers the artist, with the same irony that characterizes his boundless and multifaceted opera.
Commissioned by LACMA and narrated by Tom Waits (by the direct request of the artist himself because “Well, he has a beautiful voice”), this short documentary in only 6 minutes illustrates everything there is to know about the father of conceptual art.
Baldessari, one of the most important living artists, opens the doors of his studio, and lets his intimate and personal objects – the same ones he likes to use in his work – narrate his story. This incursion in a private space seamlessly swings between art and everyday life: we observe everything from his Wi-Fi password to the place in which he keeps the ashes of all of the works he produced before 1970, the year he decided to cremate them all. The directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, using a non-linear narrative made of images and short, ironic phrases, succeed in transporting in film-form the artist’s own trademark wit. Surreal, engaging and fun, this art film steps away from the typical sanctimonious tone of the genre becoming a pop masterpiece, that can be enjoyed and appreciated by anyone, just like Baldessari’s art.
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