Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bob Marley/ I am Legend/ Candice Breitz

This is a different film review/comment entry. Call it a coincidence or the collective subconscious, but today I heard Bob Marley songs in two major works; Candice Breitz video installation and Will Smith's blockbuster I Am Legend.

I'm currently in Denver, Colorado and being a sunny,snowstorm-free-day, I went to the new Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) which opened in October. The building is not big, but its spacious enough to fit a group of great artists. I appreciated the distribution, the smooth black wooden floors and the current exhibition titled; Star Power: Museum as Body Electric curated by Cydney Payton and featuring seven emerging and established artists from around the world (among them, Mexican Carlos Amorales). The exhibition starts on the basement where there's only one installation and the museum offices. That one installation echoes on all the museum levels, reminding you of the power of Bob Marley.

Candice Breitz, the artist from Johannesburg, South Africa is responsible for Legend (A Portrait of Bob Marley), an installation that she created by inviting thirty Jamaicans from all walks of life to sing their versions of Legend in a professional recording studio in Port Antonio, Jamaica. Each participant was invited to individually re-perform the entire Legend album from beginning to end. The resulting thirty performances are screened simultaneously on a wall of thirty monitors.

Later on (or two museums later... cause I also went to see the new building of the Denver Art Museum that Daniel Liebeskind built, but I don't want to write about cause it makes me feel dizzy) I went to see I Am Legend. Since the beggining of the film, my stomach was aching... I was stressed and I certainly didn't expect that much suspense. I just wanted to see our friend Ryan AKA Skeletor Boy in the Brooklyn Bridge shot.. but never saw him. New York looks super desolate and scary. Just to think that all this destruction was caused by Emma Thompson's cure for cancer. Ha! The lady sitting next to me, kept screaming and jumping out of her seat. But during the calm moments of this flick, Will Smith pushed play on his Ipod and he would sing along to Marley's lyrics ("Don't Worry, about a thing, cause every little thing, is gonna be alright."). And later on, he even gives a small lecture about who Marley was.. describing him as a peace trooper.

I just wonder, is this how kids who where born in the late 80's or early 90's will know Bob Marley? Will he be recognized as "Damian's Dad" now?


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