Liberatum and Amanda Eliasch present “Rebel” by James Franco in Venice

Liberatum and Amanda Eliasch present "Rebel" by James Franco in Venice


Thursday, September 1st 2011

Liberatum and Amanda Eliasch host

James Franco’s Rebel Vernissage at the

68th Venice International Film Festival

Rebel: James Franco, Douglas Gordon, Harmony Korine, Damon McCarthy, Paul McCarthy, Ed Ruscha and Aaron Young. Curated by Dominic Sidhu.

WHAT: Liberatum, the international cultural diplomacy brand, and British artist, Amanda Eliasch, will host the opening event for the anticipated debut of James Franco’s Rebel exhibition which is one of the collateral events of the 54th International Art exhibition of the La Biennale di Venezia. The event is supported by Gucci and organized by MOCA, Los Angeles.

Academy Award nominated actor, James Franco, will debut Rebel, a site-specific installation art exhibition, on 3rd September 2011 on the breathtaking Certosa Island during the 68th Venice International Film Festival

Rebel showcases artwork by James Franco in collaboration with the renowned artist Douglas Gordon, Harmony Korine, Ed Ruscha, and Aaron Young, curated by Dominic Sidhu.

Rebel is an interrogative ode to Nicholas Ray’s masterpiece Rebel Without a Cause (1955), the original film becomes a prism, fracturing the themes and events housed within the original film and reframing them in an unresolved conceptual amalgam. Within the works, Hollywood’s iconography becomes a platform for the exploration of masculine identity, angst, self-destruction, and patrilineal exchange.

Rebel on Isola Della Certosa begins with Douglas Gordon’s film installation Henry Rebel Drawing and Burning, 2011 a two-channel projection featuring Henry Hopper, engaging in an improvised performance of a man burning alive “from the inside out” and a “man-child drawing onto and into himself.” The work portrays masculinity “hovering somewhere between the sublime and the appalling.” The exhibition continues through Certosa’s architecture to include Franco’s Brad Forever, the artist’s documentary style tribute to deceased actor Brad Renfro. In Brad Forever, Franco commissions legendary tattoo artist Mark Mahoney to carve the late actor’s first name into his arm with a switchblade. Filmed in real time, imagery of the carving is juxtaposed with interviews with friends of Renfro, including actors Scott Haze and Jim Parrack. Franco also directs and performs in a video titled Age 13, drawing inspiration from the obscure public service announcement of the same name released in 1955. The exhibition culminates in Certosa’s Casa Dell’Ortolano,with films by Harmony Korine, Aaron Young, and Ed Ruscha.

Korine whose work has often responded to street culture, violence, and subcultural transgression, reinterprets the famous switchblade fight scene in Rebel Without a Cause. In Rebel, Korine directs two female gangs to fight with machetes in a Los Angeles parking lot. Known for his dangerous performance works, Aaron Young creates footage including actual motorcycle crash footage paired with imagery of a vintage car falling inch by inch from a crane into a desert crevice. In Franco’s collaborative work with Ed Ruscha, the artist plays the role of narrator, orating a subversive text created by Ray when the director lived at Chateau Marmont’s Bungalow 2.

During the course of the exhibition, Rebel will be expanded with a video work featuring James Franco that is part of a large-scale by artists Paul McCarthy and Damon McCarthy. This film is part of a larger independent project that is currently evolving, and is described by Paul McCarthy as “a ludicrous abstraction of rumored events that occurred during the making of Rebel Without a Cause, referencing the art world and art, Hollywood and celebrity.”

The contemporary avant garde exhibit is supported by Italian fashion house Gucci, with the opening night event hosted by cultural organization, Liberatum, and British visual artist, Amanda Eliasch.

WHERE: Isola dalla Cerlosa, Venice, Italy

WHEN: Rebel Vernissage – September 3rd at 5:00pm

WHY: “Liberatum is delighted to support this new artistic project created by James Franco. His talent and desire to merge art forms are exemplary. Liberatum’s vision to connect cultural worlds through diverse creative collaboration and James’ multidisciplinary work hold similar values. Therefore it is a great pleasure for me and Amanda Eliasch to partner with James and Rebel.” said Pablo Ganguli, Liberatum founder.

“People with more than one talent need to be supported. Without Pablo Ganguli’s encouragement, I might not have done a poetry book, a neon light show, and a play. This is why I support Liberatum,  James Franco and Rebel. Every opportunity should be given to people to enable them to expand.” Amanda Eliasch, artist and patron to the arts

Further information for editors:

About Liberatum

Over the last ten years, the international cultural brand Liberatum has presented a new kind of innovative cultural diplomacy festival on the world stage. Countries as diverse as Russia, India, Morocco, Papua New Guinea and Turkey have hosted remarkable Liberatum projects – from education to human rights, science to fashion, and literature to cinema. Special Liberatum events have taken place in major European cities such as Paris and London featuring leading cultural figures of our times. Liberatum programmes consist of opera, theatre, modern ballet, art exhibitions, music and dance performances, fashion events, architecture, film screenings, debates, discussions, talks and Q&As.  The festival events are open to the public completely free of charge and our mission is to connect the finest international cultural minds with their counterparts in the country where we host the festival. The audience enjoys access and dialogue with participants and collaborators. But what sets Liberatum apart is the way it weaves all these artforms together in unconventional forms to produce memorable results.

Amanda Eliasch

Amanda Eliasch is a featured artist and long-time patron of Liberatum. Amanda graciously lends herself to this masterful display of art. The globally sought after artist, playwright and author, is known for her eclectic work, bold style and contemporary flavor. She fearlessly uses symbolism, and irony, to convey powerful and compelling messages. In addition to wooing contemporary art connoisseurs with her “Peccadilloes” exhibit, a collection of nouveau neon depictions of the seven deadly sins, she has written three novels, and just recently launched her first play, the witty, personal memoir, titled “As I Like It.”

For further information please contact:

Liberatum Press Office:

Meena Khera

Mikey O’Brien

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