Fondazione Merz


ZACiak_Inter | sezioni_ Robert Wilson “Winona Ryder” (2004)

The work “Winona Ryder” (2004) by Robert Wilson opens “Inter | sezioni” review


curated by Beatrice Merz


5 December 2023 – 7 January 2024


ZACentrale, Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, Palermo

The contents of the Inter | sections review will be introduced by a special event dedicated to Robert Wilson. This will include the work Winona Ryder (2004), and will remain on display from 5 December 2023 to 7 January 2024.

Robert Wilson (1941), a renowned American director and playwright, is also known as a visual artist and choreographer. Wilson’s creative process transcends any single medium of expression to arrive at the true archetype of the work, incorporating a multitude of creative elements, from light to costume, choreography to text, voice to narration. His video portraits represent a complete synthesis of all media: ” I always thought of them as a window in a room, or a fire in a fireplace. It is always there, always changing” the artist states. “It does not demand your constant attention. The still life is a real life.”

The high-definition projection hybridises the time-based cinematic form with the fixed instant of photography. Consistent with the layered nature of the creative process, Wilson’s portraits are infused with references to painting, sculpture, film and theatre.

The slow unfolding of Wilson’s staging and Michael Galasso’s score is a conscious counterpoint to its directorial inspiration Happy Days. Samuel Beckett’s prattling Happy Days, specifically the version starring Madeline Renould, witnessed by Wilson in 1969, was countered some fifty years later with a silent Winona Ryder.

During the period the Giorni felici? exhibition is open to the public, the Inter | sections review will also take place as part of the ZACiak programme. The review constructs – in physical terms too – a meeting place and crossroads between visual art, cinema, theatre and music. The programme will feature artists’ films, performances, events and encounters. The aim being to explore, deepen and at the same time support the various contemporary artistic languages and their specific fields of research. Through the selection of films directed by visual artists, the desire to explore and defend the mingling or fusion of different disciplines in the world of culture and the visual arts is thus confirmed. This section of ZACiak takes place also in collaboration with the Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino, which for the occasion becomes one of the partners of the ZACentrale project.