Philip Solomon's American Falls
September 12 - November 1
American Falls, a video installation by Philip Solomon with additional large-scale prints by the late Robert Rauschenberg, highlighed two artists who collaged American imagery and iconography into interpretations of cultural identity. Solomon's video installation at Untitled was an abbreviated 3-screen preview of the complete film that opened in the Rotunda at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in April 2010. [Artspace] at Untitled exhibited seven of Rauschenberg's large-scale works from his Soviet American Array serieswhich was created for the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI) between 1988 and 1990. Rauschenberg's works were exhibited at Untitled courtesy of the John and Maxine Belger Family Foundation.
"I am, have been, and will be only one thing - an American."
- Charles Foster Kane
Like all of the public memorials in D.C. which inspired it, American Falls will be a monument to the fallen - the "falls" of history. As Charles Ives' The Unanswered Question asked at the beginning of the 20th century, American Falls reframes in the overcase morning of the 21st: "Whither, this Ship of State?"
This preview screening was inspired by Jeanne Hoffman Smith, whose father once told her that "you have to leave more logs on the fire than when you came in." Her cultural vision and generosity of spirit has made this piece - finally - possible. Jessica Betz has worked on this piece with me for the past several weeks with artistry and dedication, and it simply wouldn't see the light of day without her invaluable assistance and her unfailing good will and enthusiasm.
This 3-screen preview at Untitled [ArtSpace] begins the day after 9/11 and ends November 1. I would therefore like to dedicate this installation in celebration of the historic moment that is the Election of 2008.
Sail on, Ship of State.
Democracy is coming...to the U.S.A.
Here then American Falls, my wild bouquet to the country of my dreams...
- Philip Solomon