The 59th Minute
Creative Time and Panasonic proudly present The Forest, internationally renowned artist Carlos Amorales' first public artworkin the U.S. on The 59th Minute: Video Art on the NBC Astrovision by Panasonic. Blurring the boundaries between performance, art installation, political action, and popular event, Amorales transforms folkloric and popular Mexican iconography in this frenetic andstriking animation.

The Forest, created in 2003, represents Amorales' first foray into the realm of animation. Shifting from the performance arena where he gained international attention for his Devil Dances and Amorales vs. Amorales wrestling performances, the artist utilizes a boldgraphic medium to expand upon the live action aspects of his previous work. The result is a new "virtual performance."

The piece opens with a troupe of Amorales' signature character-a masked wrestler dressed in a business suit-engaged in a series of visually arresting, syncopated rhythmic movements that are at once humorous and ominous. The sequence continueswith silhouetted archetypal images of a flock of large black crows, the forest, a writhing woman, and a plane slowly descending from the sky. The dreamlike alternates with the menacing, and the rapid, repetitive succession of the symbols create a pervasive senseof apprehension and foreboding in the viewer. The imagery is drawn from Amorales' archive, replete with Mexican iconography, including symbols taken from his previous apocalyptic installations combined with universal icons of pop culture.

Typical of the performances in which Amorales physically challenges the role betweenthe public and the performer, in viewing The Forest, the spectator must actively participate with the work by interpreting the images based on his own associations and experiences. The animation is purposely designed to confound any attempt at linear narrative analysis, instead engaging visitors to free associate and explore the conceptsof identity and the language of art. The animation, with its frenzied pace and stark broadly drawn imagery, thrives in the chaotic atmosphere of Times Square.

In addition to the video in Times Square, presented in conjunction with the month-long Mexico Now festival, The 59th Minute project will include a talk at the Guggenheim Museum on November 10.

The Forest

11/01/04 - 1/31/05