Visions in an Illuminated Poetry
Joe Ramirez and The Gold Projections: Vermilion
Visions, poetry, a pause for reflection: the premiere of Joe Ramirez’s latest Gold Projection, Vermilion, will be unveiled on June, 19 at the Pierre Boulez Saal. Initiated by the WZB, Ramirez engaged with the subject of “Old Europe, New Europe.” The writer W. G. Sebald describes such visons in The Rings of Saturn: “I suppose it is the submerged memories that give to dreams their curious air of hyper-reality. But perhaps there is something else as well, something nebulous, gauze-like, through which everything one sees in a dream seems, paradoxically, much clearer.”
Ramirez has close ties to Berlin, his adopted home and place of work since 2007. The American artist’s working studio is housed in a former school gymnasium, also home to the Gold Projections. It is here that he developed the marriage between painting and moving image. Using a painstaking medieval gilding process, com-bined with his experience as a writer-director, Ramirez applies his patented methods to massive handcrafted convex discs—round receiving screens for silent images. Layers of gold are applied, then crushed into the surface of these circular “paintings.” The Gold Projections will be projected onto these floating circles of light at each end of the darkened ellipse—mirroring the design and structure of Frank Gehry’s forms at the Pierre Boulez Saal. The newly crafted tandem golden discs will silently play their films off each other as breathing “moving frescos.” The artist is a painter, screenwriter, and director. Vermilion was composed and filmed especially for the WZB’s 50th anniversary celebration. By blending painting and film, Ramirez creates an unparalleled artistic perfor-mance that creates a new film language while drawing from the histories of the painted image.
Joe Ramirez studied painting and film at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London. The initial inspiration for the Gold Projections came when the artist was able to experience and examine Michelangelo’s ceiling frescos in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel first-hand during the restoration process.
Ramirez writes: “The new work, Vermilion, commemorates the WZB’s jubilee. Vermilion is the color of cinnabar, the ancient red pigment: This timeless red is our pathway across the land of Southern Europe. The journey is, and the journey is now. Our perceptions are awakened in a cave and lead to the mythic coast. We are all invited onto this ribbon of time and light.”
Hier you will find Joe Ramirez's Poem about the Gold Projections (PDF).
June 18, 2019