Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Can you see the wood for the trees?
I was at Sam Taylor-Wood's show at The Baltic in Gateshead around when this film footage was taken...
Sam's work revealed to me traces and elements of mediaeval still-lives captured in oil; Candid portraits of musicians and jongleurs... Desperate Hollywood Men spun in celluoid, shedding tears and feigning tantrums... And there was Sam, ethereal and lovely, floating like a ghostly enigma above chairs and props, a propos of nothing, real and surreal...
My sister, La Wiki, had this to say when I dropped in to see her the other day at her Temple of Delights to pay penance and homage to the Great and the Good: "Sam Taylor-Wood was born in London, England. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths College.
Before breaking out as an artist, Taylor-Wood worked at the Royal Opera House and managed the Camden Palace nightclub. In 1991, her work began to appear in a number of group exhibitions alongside that of contemporaries from Goldsmiths. Her breakthrough came in 1994 with the work Killing Time in which four people mimed an opera score. From that point multi-screen video works became the main focus of Taylor-Wood's work. Beginning with the video works Travesty of a Mockery and Pent-Up in 1996, Taylor-Wood began to use professional actors. Her work since 1996 has often featured celebrity friends.
Elton John was included in a large photo-work, and commissioned Taylor-Wood to make a promotional video starring Robert Downey Jr. for one of his records.
In 2002, Taylor-Wood was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to make a video portrait of David Beckham sleeping.
Taylor-Wood is also a long-time collaborator with the Pet Shop Boys having produced films for their Somewhere concerts at the Savoy Theatre, London. She has also been guest vocalist on two Pet Shop Boys produced songs - their rendition of Serge Gainsbourg's "Je t'aime... Moi non plus" and Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby". For the latter of these two releases, she used the pseudonym Kiki Kokova.
Taylor-Wood was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997 (that's due again soon, mes bloggy loves - I get all excited about the Turner Prize. Sad puppess that I am!), and won the Illy Café Prize for Most Promising Young Artist at the 47th Venice Biennale.
In 2008, Taylor-Wood directed a short film Love You More, written by Patrick Marber and produced by Anthony Minghella (....j'adore), which was screened in Main Competition for the Palm D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
On 19 September 2008, Taylor-Wood and her art dealer husband, Jay Jopling, announced that they would be divorcing amicably for personal reasons.
In February 2009, Sam Taylor-Wood collaborating with Sky Arts chose Vesti la Giubba from Pagliacci to interpret. She commented: "I’m really happy to be involved in such a great project. I think by capturing one of opera's most moving moments in a film short, we have put a modern spin on the aria.""
Here are some linkies, should you wish to find out more: