Alex Da Corte
Slow Graffiti was produced for Da Corte’s exhibition at the Vienna Secession in 2017. The video is a shot-for-shot remake of the film “The Perfect Human” by Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth (1967). The original is narrated in an anthropological manner, or as if listening to a guide at a zoo, but Da Corte’s version is stranger and more philosophical. Leth’s film has uncomfortable implications, such as: is the perfect human white, attractive, detached? The original, which is shot with a sense of fashion (resembling contemporary clothing commercials), offers mixed signals about objectivity, and at the very least a provocation about the notion of human perfection.
Slow Graffiti features the artist performing Frankenstein, specifically the monster as brought to life by the actor Boris Karloff. During an interview, Karloff made the statement, “that monster was the best friend I ever had,” in speaking about his iconic portrayal of Frankenstein in the 1931 Hollywood film. This statement animates Da Corte’s Frankenstein, caught in forces tender, humorous, absurd and destructive. As an icon, Frankenstein represents ‘an idea come to life’ but also absorbs through metaphor the kind of transformations that results from technological intervention. In the original story by Mary Shelley Frankenstein is also composed of many different parts, from different bodies, and so suggests an assembled identity, mixed background, polyphonic references and influences, that continue to find relevance in contemporary life.
The voiceover and audio-track, which diverges in bizarre, critical, suggestive, and poetic ways was scored by Devonté Hynes.