Reinforcing the old adage that two heads are better than one, renegade Nashville-based filmmaker Harmony Korine and New York fine artist Rita Ackermann have joined forces to create large-scale collage-based artworks that unite the creatives’ respective disciplines.
Their exhibition, ‘Shadow Fux’, presented through the Swiss Institute, is the duo’s first collaboration and takes as its point of departure Korine’s controversial and psychologically jarring recent film,‘Trash Humpers’ (2009). Featuring drawings and large-scale paintings on vinyl and canvas, Ackermann and Korine reworked stills of ‘Trash Humpers’ overtly weird, alien-like cast of youthful misfits with haggard and aged faces to create new characters and narratives. Through a process of editing, splicing, painting and collaging, the resulting works reveal the pair’s shared interest in fringe society and subversive culture with eerie compositions acting as monuments to the freaks, hysterics and eccentrics among us. Two confronting film pieces by Korine accompany the paintings: ‘Pots and Pans’ (2010) which documents a deaf Cuban family banging hysterically on pots and a second piece made up of fragmented outtakes from ‘Trash Humpers’.
The collaboration began 18 months ago. “Ackermann and Korine, who are very good friends, started sending images back and forth, beginning their ‘call and response’ method of working together – taking inspiration from Korine’s beautiful, weird, abstract film, ‘Trash Humpers’,” explains Gianni Jetzer, the show’s curator. “Both artists share a fascination with really weird, strange beauty and fictional characters, which came through clearly in their works. It’s interesting because through their collage and painting technique, they paralleled the art of film-making as well as painting–it is a rare and wonderful exchange.”