Robert Wilson: Perchance to Dream, New York

Robert Wilson: Perchance to Dream, New York

It takes a few seconds of visual readjustment to realise that Robert Wilson’s portrait of Italian ballet dancer Roberto Bolle (above) actually moves.

Quietly adding another notch to his triumphs in alternative portrait-making, Wilson’s latest exhibition is a series of videoportraits of Bolle, who is Étoile (principal dancer) at Milan’s La Scala and at the American Ballet Theatre in New York.

Broadcast in a series of 31 videos spread out over 7 rooms, all of which have been filled with iconic Italian design pieces from the last 50 years, this is the first time that Wilson’s videoportratis have been connected to the architecture of the space - a pretty remarkable evolution in Wilson’s artistic language.

Although the Italian connection might not be that obvious at first glance, it in fact marks the celebration of Italian design as part of I Saloni Milano’s 50th Anniversary, which kicks off in New York this December. Accepting an invitation from organisers Cosmit and Federlegno-Arredo, Wilson’s commissioned video-art portraiture of Bolle in Center 548’s space looks to reflect on the aesthetics of the human form with that of the furniture in the space.

The director’s preoccupation with interaction between form and space is no surprise for fans who have come to expect his obsession with both the control of the body and the beauty of movement. Lesser known, is the fact that this sentiment was first roused while watching a work by choreographer George Balanchine when he first moved to New York from Texas in the 1960s.

In a way, Wilson sees collaboration with Bolle as a return to his original interest in the performing arts, which is reason enough for us to revere it.

Wallpaper* Newsletter

Wallpaper* is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

© Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All rights reserved. England and Wales company registration number 2008885.