Friday, 6 February 2009

dennis hopper and the new hollywood - australian exclusive exhibition

Dennis Hopper is in Melbourne in November

In its latest major international exclusive exhibition, ACMI today announced the staging of Dennis Hopper and the New Hollywood , an expansive exhibition showcasing an extraordinary man's life's work, his collaborations and personal art collection, and an amazing insight into a formative era of Hollywood.

In the 1960s, a new generation of Hollywood filmmakers changed the face of American cinema with the content, marketing, consumption and distribution of films revolutionised. Creative control shifted from producers to directors, many of whom were young, film-school graduates with a passion for film history, art and the New Wave. What film was about, who it was for, and how it could look all came under scrutiny in an era famed for its anti-establishment and counter-cultural values.

This was 'The New Hollywood', and right at its centre was Dennis Hopper and his extraordinary film, Easy Rider (1969). With its super-low budget and rock n' roll soundtrack, Hopper's directorial debut quickly reached cult status. The aesthetic of the road, already mythologised by the New York Beats in the 1950s, took on new connotations in the Californian underground, mingling with aspects of Pop Art, radical politics and the great mythology of the American dream.

ACMI Director, Tony Sweeney, said: "ACMI is excited to present this Australian-exclusive exhibition celebrating the work and life of a truly extraordinary filmmaker and artist. The exhibition allows us to engage in great depth and detail the catalogue of work by a courageous artist, reflecting on a bygone era which radically influenced the film industry that exists today."

In this unique exhibition, Dennis Hopper's remarkable body of work is put into context.  As a 'New Hollywood' visionary director and actor, Hopper has occupied a key place in American cultural production from the 1950s to today. He has collaborated with a vast range of artists, musicians, actors, architects and filmmakers over the past forty years, most notably with Francis Ford Coppola, Marcel Duchamp, Frank Gehry, Jack Nicholson, David Lynch and Wim Wenders.

Hopper is also a painter and prolific photographer, exhibited worldwide. He has taken portraits of artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Julian Schnabel, has had photographic features published in magazines including Vogue and Artforum and documented hundreds of artistic performances, graffiti-sites and political uprisings. Hopper is the photographer behind some of the world's most recognised images of icons like Martin Luther King Jnr, Paul Newman and James Brown.

The exhibition traces the paradoxes of an America undergoing transformation - from pop culture to suburban subculture, psychedelia to slam poetry, rebellion to disillusionment. The exhibition brings together Hopper's own photography and film work as both director and actor - including films such as Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Blue Velvet (1986), Apocalypse Now (1978) and the Australian production Mad Dog Morgan (1976) - with Hopper's exceptional private collection of contemporary art. Dennis Hopper's own work is shown alongside paintings, photographs and sculptures by major American artists such as Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and Jenny Holzer.

Dennis Hopper and the New Hollywood was originally produced by the Cinémathèque Française, in association with Dennis Hopper, Easy Rider Productions, and curated by Matthieu Orlean. For its Melbourne presentation, the exhibition will feature a film season and a series of public programs, talks and workshops.

"ACMI has an international reputation for presenting the very best of moving image art from around the globe and we're excited to be able to provide Australian audiences with another exclusive opportunity to experience the work of legendary filmmaker and artist Dennis Hopper," Tony said.

Dennis Hopper and the New Hollywood opens at ACMI on Thursday 12 November 2009 and exhibits until Sunday 7 March 2010. Dennis Hopper will be in Melbourne for the official opening of the exhibition.

Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
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