Experimental theatre director, designer, and choreographer, Robert Wilson has been exploding conventional notions of portraiture since 2006. Everyone from Isabella Rossellini and Johnny Depp to an owl and an elderly car mechanic has fronted his lens, with results that mix photography, film and sculpture to extraordinary, and often hilarious, effect.
Thanks to his stint as Wallpaper* guest editor this month, Wilson’s video portraits have taken on a new guise on the pages of the magazine. With the help of a nifty piece of acetate and the pre-cinema technique of OmbroCinema, many of them now animate the pages of our October issue. ‘What we’ve tried to do with the magazine is to make it more dimensional,’ he explains. ‘The new technology we’re using brings the images to life, creating something that’s more interactive and allowing the reader to be a participant in the composition.’
Of course, online we have the beauty of video. But, true to Wallpaper* form, we haven’t stopped there. Using photos taken from the video portraits’ touring exhibition across the globe (from Ace Gallery in Los Angeles to the National Museum of Singapore), we’ve literally 'installed' Wilson’s works in their museum or gallery setting. So now you can feel the force of what it would be like to be before these works of art in all their sculptural splendour. Click on the portraits to see them play, turn up the volume and watch very carefully.