14.07.17 – 03.09.17
Multiplex is a durational project by Carl Gent that consists of sculptural works that are activated at a specific time during a series of performances and events during summer.
Through the process of making absinthe, the sculptures take on a duality; as both art object and tool for production. A space is created in which the works gesture towards the cultural and geographical associations surrounding the consumption of absinthe, contesting perceived truths and non-truths, opening up towards our theological concerns regarding death and the final judgement of the soul.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see The Fast and the Furious as such [I mean I didn’t and I really didn’t want to spend money on it] but it was that we had come to the cinema specifically to see Moulin Rouge with some girl friends and that was why I came. Just cause we were five minutes late, why would we not see it? I wanted to see Moulin Rouge, which I know you had already seen, but still.
And it wasn’t even that it was bad [I mean it was bad] but I had watched bad films in cinemas before and got a kick out of it. Remember we saw Girl With A Pearl Earring in the local one-screen cinema and it was really really boring and had everything about period drama that I detested, but the awful thing about this situation with The Fast and the Furious was that the film I wanted to see was on the other side of one of these sound-cushioned walls. At a delay but yes, in the same building and my mediocre experience was made worse by the, presumably, thrilling world the other side of the wall. A whirlwind of romance, music, absinthe, colour and passion. I was imagining something like the same director’s take on Romeo+Juliet but squared or cubed. Something unimpeachably vibrant. [Something that also would have shown my crush how into the world I was, you know?] Obviously in this case the not-watching and not-knowing made it all the more agonisingly exotic.
Looking back now whirlwind of romance, music, absinthe, colour and passion is probably a fair description of what I remember of The Fast and The Furious, minus the absinthe of course [although I can’t be sure about this and there’s been a lot of sequels and reboots since]. But it wasn’t a world I knew. I was illiterate to the high-octane, high-def, high-energy levels rippling through what seemed to be a long product placement narrative. And why does Vin Diesel burn so much diesel? Is that some kind of weirdass joke or subtext?
This, Screen 3, was certainly the worst of all possible worlds.
So I fucked around. Used my time to actually look at the cinema room. Regard the frame that was my temporary inclusion zone. Like a shift at work or I dunno a funerary service. When I got really bored I pretended to make a move on Gareth which was factually hilarious cause we both liked girls, even if it wasn’t actually funny.
I never did see Moulin Rouge at the cinema but I do still have a VHS copy of it somewhere, one with a lenticular front cover, although I might be getting confused with my copy of Volcano here.
Did you know absinthe isn’t actually hallucinogenic?
(Text by Carl Gent)
Photo credits: Carl Gent, KELDER, Michelle Nguyen
PERFORMANCE AND EVENT SCHEDULE
For the first instalment of Multiplex, Carl Gent performed the First Maceration. During the performance Gent selected a variety of herbs and other aromatics to start the maceration process whilst performing a reading before sealing the demijohn. This sculpture, Traddutore, Traditore (a new translation) was allowed to infuse for a two week period whilst Skeeter Davis’ The End of the World was being played to it.
The second stage of Multiplex involved the recovery of the first maceration from the demijohn sculpture of Traddutore, Traditore (a new translation) and the transferring of the liquid to the copper still sculpture of Testing the Receptor Affinity. During the evening, Gent worked with the audience to assemble the still, connect the elements to hotplates and running water, mix rye flour paste to seal the joints and collect the distillate. As the evening progressed Gent shared the instructions for each stage of the process with the audience. To this end, visitors were encouraged to bring USB sticks and flash drives to the event.
Carl Gent together with KELDER invited curators, artists, scientists and writers to a dinner cooked by Gent and Suzy Dunford. Using all the herbs and aromatics included in the maceration process to influence the menu the event was a sober dinner that allowed the guests to ingest the material used in the creation of the absinthe without experiencing the intoxicating effects of ingesting the alcohol.
DRINKING & DRINKING (SONGS)
The culmination of MULTIPLEX was celebrated with the consumption of the absinthe and a number of spontaneous musical performances by Perple Celotape, Video Blue, Chris Timms, Sheaf+Barley, Dusty Boners.