JAMES FRANCO PLAYS ARTIST BRUCE NAUMAN
With all of his recent work — his Clocktower gallery show, optioning of The Adderall Diaries, performance in the great experimental short Solitary/Release, and, of course, his bravura turn in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours — James Franco is becoming not just one of our best young actors but an important ambassador between the art and film worlds. Here, via Nowness, he is in Alison Chernick’s “remake” of artist Bruce Nauman’s 1967 video art piece, Art Make-Up. From Nowness:
Recently there’s been something of a convergence between Franco’s artistic interests and his acting choices. While at work on a book of short stories, he starred as poet Allen Ginsberg in the recently released Howl, and, in a self-referential move, appeared in a number of episodes of General Hospital as the artist “Franco,” turning a soap opera into performance art. Considering such extra-curricular activities, and capitalizing on the concept of celebrity itself as a ready-made artwork, Alison Chernick cast the Renaissance man in today’s film, James Franco as Bruce Nauman, a contemporary update of Nauman’s Art Make-Up video piece from 1967, shot on location at the Standard Hotel, New York. The themes the artist was exploring seem perfectly in sync with Franco’s own hall-of-mirrors aesthetic: “make-up,” the stuff an actor smears on his face, assumes a double entendre as a verb—to make up, the very essence of any creative act. The video is the first in a new series by Chernick in which contemporary artists are enlisted to star in remakes of seminal video artworks, prompting a dialogue between the original artwork and the artist reinterpreting it.