Pérez Art Museum Miami Presents Marco Brambilla’s Heaven’s Gate

(MIAMI, FL — May 18, 2021) — Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is pleased to present Heaven’s Gate, a new monumental video work by artist Marco Brambilla, opening on June 17. A satirical, vertigo-inducing meditation on the Hollywood ‘Dream Factory,’ Heaven’s Gate takes viewers through a time capsule of lush cinematic landscapes of collaged film samples collected from famous Hollywood images, featuring major stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Christopher Walken, Beyoncé, Audrey Hepburn, and Matthew McConaughey.

"The idea of Heaven's Gate entering the world at this particular juncture in time seems somehow completely right. Our world, more than ever, is an undifferentiated chaos of dreams, nightmares and illusions, of shiny surfaces, optimism, pestilence and war. Life imitating art...as ever," said Marco Brambilla

In a totem-like display of screens, the viewer travels through a vertical landscape of infinitely-looping scenes from prominent films, led upwards through a series of seven surreal landscapes that retell the history of the world—starting with the creation of the universe and culminating in a dramatic explosion—to examine human nature’s relationship to consumption and overabundance. Referencing the luminous qualities of silver screen spectacles, the piece both celebrates collective storytelling consciousness and satirizes its saturated glamour. Film characters and fantastical set pieces are transformed into infinitely looping memes, trapped in time as media sculptures remove from their original context; now inhabiting a hyper-sensory parallel universe where the lines between gaming, news, reality TV, and Hollywood are part of the same human epic.

“Marco’s work is as apt to be presented at the Sundance Film Festival as it is in a major international art museum or the walls of public spaces,” said PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans. “He has consistently probed the world of cinema through video art with versatility, careful to mark the distinctions of both. While his work has always pushed the boundaries of new technology to visually engage with the screen, his recent work in virtual reality will literally create ‘new ways of seeing’”.’

The title “Heaven’s Gate” refers to Michael Cimino’s 1980 film whose extreme production costs bankrupted United Artists and effectively brought to an end the era of director as auteur, paving the way for the studio domination of the medium, which has continued to the present-day. The work reappropriates the language of pop culture to depict the tensions present in religion, industry and celebrity: ascension and fall, innocence and experience, vanity and pageantry, sexuality and awakening, simplicity and excess. Through this absorbing work, Brambilla highlights the sensory overload of today’s compendium of popular culture to engulf the viewer’s senses with a hyper-saturation of imagery almost impossible to sustain. 

Marco Brambilla: Heaven's Gate is organized by Franklin Sirmans, PAMM Director, with Maritza Lacayo, Curatorial Assistant and Publications Coordinator, in the Bank of America Gallery. This exhibition is presented with support from Ann Blackwell and Cornelius Bond. Ongoing support for PAMM’s project galleries from Knight Foundation, and additional support from JW Marriott Marquis Miami and Blackdove is gratefully acknowledged.

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Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), led by Director Franklin Sirmans, promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture, and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. The 37-year-old South Florida institution, formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM), opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, on December 4, 2013 in Downtown Miami’s Maurice A. Ferré Park. The facility is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab, and classroom spaces.

Marco Brambilla is no stranger to Hollywood, having directed the 1993 film Demolition Man, a sci-fi meditation on a dystopian future, perhaps one not unlike our own. Based in London, Brambilla’s work has been internationally exhibited and is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; ARCO Foundation, Madrid; and the Corcoran Gallery of Art,Washington DC. His work has been exhibited at the New Museum, New York; Seoul Biennial, South Korea; Broad Art Museum;  Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul; and Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland. His retrospective took place at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Brambilla has worked with Creative Time and Art Production Fund in New York to present public art installations, including his Nude Descending Staircase No.3 (2019) presented at Oculus WTC by Art Production Fund during Frieze New York. Brambilla is a recipient of the Tiffany Comfort Foundation and Tiffany Colbert Foundation awards. His work has been featured at the Venice Film Festival and Sundance Film Festivals, as well as Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland.


Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support is provided by the City of Miami and the Miami OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency (OMNI CRA). Pérez Art Museum Miami is an accessible facility. All contents ©Pérez Art Museum Miami. All rights reserved.

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