Gustavo von Ha appropriates movie clichés in his new work
In 'TokyoShow' movie-trailer starring Alessandra Negrini, the artist from Sao Paulo
blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction.
by Rodrigo Levino
One of the most inventive artists, Gustavo von Ha, 34, never shied away from appropriations and reinterpretations of works of others to give life to his authorial vein. Among his most celebrated work is, for example, the distorted impression of Tarsila do Amaral and Leonilson’ s drawings, which could be enjoyed in its original form only when seen through a mirrored globe near to the images. Entitled ‘Double Crossing’, the exhibition took place in Tokyo this year, where raised praise.
After offering the public a new way of seeing previously established works of historical artists, Von Ha decided to go a step further. His new work, ‘TokyoShow’, which has just been released on the internet, unites film, theater and visual arts, as well as a mood beyond provocative, in a combo that defies comprehension of the viewer, blurring the line between fiction and reality.
"In many American films synopses, there is the use of terms such as 'looking for love', 'contagious', 'exciting' or 'surprisingly'. Looking to these very usual expressions I decided to create a movie", says Von Ha about his work starring the actress Alessandra Negrini, written, produced and directed by him. "The name of the film in Portuguese is “The Search for Love” because it is what we see in American productions when they come to Brazil. It is totally different from ‘TokyoShow’ making an allusion to the talk-show."
‘TokyoShow’, the debut of the artist as a filmmaker - or movie trailers maker, the conundrum is part of the project that tells the story of seven strangers living in Japan, including Barbra Scott (Alessandra Negrini) a reality show host and Jude Ferguson (Nilton Bicudo), a tycoon and TV producer. Disillusioned, sleepless and anxious, in a hostile city, the characters have their intersecting lives for - we believe – a tragic event that will change their lives forever.
In short, a bunch of romantic themes, suspenseful, thoroughly exploited by the cinema, and in the hands of Von Ha purposely become a pastiche. With original music by Bell Motta, ‘TokyoShow’ lends itself to mock phrases and predictable path, while instilling in the viewer a doubt: does the film even exist? Or the audience was just duped by a series of clichés so present in their lives that have become bait to a questioning work?