Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This Circle of Cardboard Art is Now Complete

Rome's Trevi Fountain has its own website and a long list of film credits that includes La Dolce Vita and Roman Holiday. It can also be connected to a giant cardboard sculpture by artist James Grashow which, by his own design, was allowed to slowly disintegrate last spring in front of the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

What remains a year later is the feature documentary The Cardboard Benini, a reference to Trevi creator Gian Lorenzo Bernini. After the movie screens this Friday February 15th at the Ridgefield Playhouse (with Grashow and director-producer Olympia Stone in attendance), there will be an after-party at - you guessed it - the Aldrich Museum.

Grashow proclaimed last May when he took his degraded work to the dumpster that it was "ashes to ashes, mush to mush." But it turns out, for one night at least, to also be a case of "mush to movie."

The artist lives in neighboring Redding and counts the filmmaker's father Allan Stone as his art dealer. As Olympia's Director's Statement outlines, the goal of The Cardboard Benini was to also tie the giant sculpture to an even larger life-issue:

From its conception, Jimmy intended this work to be put outside to disintegrate. Work on the fountain began in 2007 and was completed in 2010... My film is an intimate glimpse of an artist at work on what he considers might be his “final epic.” We follow Jimmy as he asks what is the point of art and creation? What is the connection between creation and destruction? And, ultimately, what is the point of our lives in the face of our mortality?

The work premiered in June 2010 at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia. It went to show in New York and Pittsburgh before coming home to Ridgefield. Stone launched Floating Stone Productions as a personal response to 9/11 and for her first, previous feature doc profiled her aforementioned art dealer dad.

[Floating Stone Productions]

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