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Los Angeles—The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), presents Rebel, conceived by James Franco with Douglas Gordon, Harmony Korine, Damon McCarthy, Paul McCarthy, Terry Richardson, Ed Ruscha, and Aaron Young. Rebel will be on view from May 15 through June 23, 2012 at 941 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038. REBEL hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 5pm; free admission. Presented by Gucci. Major support is provided by 7 For All Mankind and Samsung. Additional support is provided by Chateau Marmont and JF Chen Exhibition designed and produced by Commonwealth Projects.
James Franco Brad Renfro Forever, 2011 26 minutes, Digital projection with sound Courtesy of the Artist
Douglas Gordon Self Portrait of You + Me and Me + You + You + Me + Me + You (02), 2011 45.25 x 40 x 2 inches, Three individually framed images and one framed mirror Prints and burned print, Smoke and Mirror © Studio lost but found / Katharina Kiebacher
Rebel is an interrogative ode to Nicholas Ray’s masterpiece Rebel Without A Cause (1955), conceived by Franco to embrace and mine the main themes and events in the original film. The exhibition reinterprets the film’s legends, the people involved, its place in Hollywood, film as a medium, and behind-the-scenes footage, in a new, fresh, and unconventional presentation of film, video installation, photography, painting, drawing, and sculpture, housed in and framed by iconic Hollywood structures. “MOCA is excited to present Rebel,” said MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch. “This exhibition, based on an iconic Los Angeles film by artists with strong ties to MOCA, represents a convergence of extraordinary talents and has a profound resonance with the Los Angeles art world and its relationship to Hollywood.” In Rebel, the contributions of each artist are combined to capture the spirit of the original film through references to the auto and motorcycle culture of the 1950s, which James Dean was a part of; teenage angst and issues of identity back then, related to identity now; patrilineal exchange, and the relationships of father and son, and mentor and student; male and female sexuality; fiction and fact; and Hollywood and the art world. The Chateau Marmont is one of the central points in Rebel, and perhaps the single most significant reference and home to Hollywood behind the scenes life, acting as a linking structure to the exhibition, and to several of the works presented. Rebel will present and document Caput, a short film by Harmony Korine, renowned and renegade filmmaker and director, and one of the new voices of teenage rebellion. Caput, is an artistic rendition of the famous, tensely choreographed scene in Rebel Without a Cause, where Jim (James Dean) and Buzz face off with switchblades outside the Griffith Observatory. In Korine’s adaption, switchblades become machetes strapped to the hands of two female BMX riding gangs, led by Dean and Sal Mineo, who face off wearing sneakers and bandanas covering their faces.
In a film made by Franco as a narrative journey by helicopter around Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign, Ed Ruscha, an iconic figure in the Los Angeles art world, is presented as the voice of Nicholas Ray, as he reads a monologue from The Blind Run, an early script by Ray for Rebel Without A Cause. A painting, Rebel (2011), by Ruscha will be reproduced and presented as a billboard sign as part of the exhibition.
Known for his dangerous, performance works made with cars and motorcycles, Aaron Young paints an abstract portrait of James Dean’s last moments on earth. A large-scale sculpture of a 1950 Ford Custom Tudor Coupe, the same type of car that killed James Dean and which Young dropped from an eighty-foot high crane into a desert ditch, will be presented along with two motorcycle sculptures and three accompanying videos, Ghost (2011), Grapevine (2011), and Life’s a Drag (2011).
A collection of hand-drawn, animated vignettes, titled El Gato (2011) blooming from the erotic and dark undertones in Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause, directed and animated by artist Galen Pehrson and voiced by Franco, Jena Malone, and Devendra Banhart, will be presented.
Ed Ruscha, REBEL, 2011 Acrylic on canvas, 20 in. x 24 in. Courtesy of the artist
Harmony Korine Caput, 2011 Featuring James Franco and Eddie Peel Scored by Ho Ho Click and IO Echo 6 minutes.Digital video with sound Photo courtesy of the artist
A selection of photographs by prolific artist Terry Richardson, will portray and explore Hollywood, celebrity, identity and sexuality, echoing the themes, characters and personalities contained in the original film and revisited in Rebel. The images by Terry Richardson, James Franco in Drag #1-#5, 2011 various sizes C-Print. Courtesy of the Artist and OHWOW Gallery.
Aaron Young Grapevine, 2011 1 minute or 10 seconds, Phantom video Courtesy of the Artist & Bortolami Gallery Photo courtesy of the artist
Tags: 7 For All Mankind, and Aaron Young., Chateau Marmont, conceived by James Franco with Douglas Gordon, Courtesy of the Artist and OHWOW Gallery, Damon McCarthy, Ed Ruscha, gucci, Harmony Korine, LOS ANGELES (MOCA), OHWOW gallery, Paul McCarthy, presents Rebel, Rebel, Terry Richardson, Terry Richardson James Franco in Drag, The Museum of Contemporary Art