The Ballroom, 2016, five channel video installation, color, sounds, 2:00 minutes.
Acrylic paint and gold leaf on plexiglass, fabric, painted frames, LED screens, video loops.
Installation view at Luis De Jesus, Los Angeles. Dimensions: 14x 32 ft.
With his typical sardonic and irreverent approach, Federico Solmi has orchestrated a masquerade between history’s most feared and beloved leaders in his latest work, The Ballroom. Within the installation, the videos display surreal vignettes of a lavish gala, converging multiple narratives of gluttony, gossip, and over the top exuberance. The follies of each overly ambitious leader result in a chaotic festival of drinking, smoking, dancing, and feasting. The vain display of ridiculous costumes, shining with medals and jewelry, promote a visual disorder that highlights the indulgent antics of these powerful figures. Rather than re-enacting history, the leaders enter into our conceited present-day celebrity culture. Through the excess of its protagonists, The Ballroom calls to fault our own perpetuation of skewed historical myths and perspectives and our complacent consumption of disingenuous narratives.