Michel Auder: Roman Variations
Shot during Michel Auder’s one year residency in the Italian capital, Roman Variations (1991) is an epic film with Rome as its subject. The fifty-minute travelogue is an uncanny document of the eternal city at the dawn of the Berlusconi era.
Images of the Palatine hill under a bright blue sky or of the Campo dei Fiori market on a rainy day are alternated with erotically underpinned fragments of Italian television. Television and real life are blended as a visual of the city’s immortal skyline, and forefronted by a close up of an electrical stimulation belt wrapped around a young woman’s body.
The artist pays homage to Rome’s magnificence, chaos and decadence capturing, with his sophisticated eye, the paradoxical expressions of this complex city.
A pioneer in experimental film, Auder began in the early 1960s as a photographer and soon explored video as an artistic medium to document his life and New York’s bohemian underground. Over the years he has shot thousands of hours of film; much of this footage is edited by the artist many years after it was recorded and turned into video works ranging from sequences lasting just a few minutes to feature-length films.
Born in 1945 in Soissons, FR, Michel Auder lives and works in New York, USA. He has been a faculty member at Yale University School of Art since 2005 and was selected by the 2016 DAAD’s Berliner Künstlerprogramm’s jury for a one-year visual art residency in Berlin.
He will participate at dOCUMENTA (14), Kassel this year and his work has been featured in the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY and dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel. Solo exhibitions include those at Kunsthalle Basel; Portikus, Frankfurt; Établissement d’en Face Projects, Brussels; Culturgest, Lisbon.