Montezland a group exhibition at Rokeby Thursday 31st January 2013

Conrad Ventur, MM, 2010-2012, Ed.5+2AP From a series of 30 photographs, 40.6 cm x 61 cm

Conrad Ventur, MM, 2010-2012, Ed.5+2AP From a series of 30 photographs, 40.6 cm x 61 cm

Santi Visalli, Andy Warhol Filming The Chelsea Girls with Montez Mario, 1966

Conrad Ventur, MM, 2010-2012, Ed.5+2AP From a series of 30 photographs, 40.6 cm x 61 cm

Andy Warhol, Mario Banana (No.1), 1964 16mm film, color, silent, 4 minutes ©2012 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved. Film still courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum.

31st January to 14th March 2013 Rokeby 5-9 Hatton Wall London EC1N 8HX

A group exhibition with Jack Smith, Conrad Ventur, Andy Warhol and others who worked with underground film star Mario Montez.

Renowned for his roles in Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures, Normal Love and No President, Montez is a legendary figure in the underground cinema and theatre scene of New York City. Most active in the ‘60’s he starred in thirteen Warhol films, was a founding member of Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company and played the lead in Jose Rodriguez Soltero’s Lupe. In 1977 Montez retired his signature drag persona and left New York for Orlando, Florida.

Montez emerged from retirement in 2010 and subsequently began a multi-media collaboration with Conrad Ventur. Work from their ongoing project, including a selection of prints from a larger body of photographic work, will be exhibited alongside important historical works from Montez’ past collaborators.

The recent photographs by Conrad Ventur are hybrids of cinematic fictions and reality. Created within the legacy of Mario Montez they reference his own debut performance as Dolores Flores in Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures, his performance in Smith’s Jungle Island, Andy Warhol’s Batman / Dracula and his original Screen Test. Framed under the banner of history and the passage of time, Ventur’s photographs and films are installed alongside historical works featuring Mario by Takahiko Iimura, Leandro Katz, Ron Rice, Jack Smith, Santi Visalli, Andy Warhol, Avery Willard and others to create a filmic narrative that connects, rewinds, recycles and repeats decades whilst simultaneously reviewing one of the remaining pivotal members of ‘60‘s underground New York within the context of the past and present.

Conrad Ventur (Seattle 1977) lives and works in New York. He recently re-staged thirteen of Andy Warhol’s screen test portraits, including Montez, approximating the lighting, frame and playback speed of the originals. The work has recently been purchased by The Whitney Museum of American Art.

Special Event
4th February 6.30 a 7.00pm
Jack Smith Screening including shorts starring Mario Montez
Jungle Island, 1967 and I Was a Male Yvonne De Carlo, 1967-70
With Dr Gavin Butt Reader in Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths and artist Conrad Ventur

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the founder and editor of FAD magazine, a curation of the world’s most interesting culture, and Creative Director of FAD Agency, a strategy & creative agency working with brands to solve business problems using cultural tools. In 2008 following his passion for art he founded what has grown to become FAD magazine. FAD magazine is internationally recognized as a key figure within the emerging and contemporary art world, and has been selected as official partner by organizations as diverse as Moniker Art Fair, START, Volta and Christie’s. In addition Mark is a columnist for City Magazine.

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