In parallel with the exhibition Interior Design by Simon Evans, Galeria Fortes Vilaça presents on its second floor the short film Cutaways, by Polish artist Agnieszka Kurant. Made in partnership with award-winning film editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Godfather), the work brings to the screen the invisible world of characters who were conceived and filmed during the production of certain feature films, but then completely deleted from the final cut. In the film, the artists gives life to three of these cut out supporting actors, which were extracted from cult productions by Kubrick, Tarantino and Sarafian.
Kurant’s conceptual work deals with complex concepts such as immaterial labor and virtual capital, which she calls “phantom capital,” in order to explore how abstract phenomena generate concrete impacts in the economy, politics and culture. Her short film Cutaways (2013; 23 minutes) involves phantom characters who for reasons regarding film duration or structure had their existence deleted by film editors. Although all visible trace of them has been removed from their respective films, they still remain strangely present in them.
Cutaways narrates the encounter of three such phantom characters from different films, as though they had gained an autonomous life and began to share the same narrative limbo. The plot is based on the respective original screenplays, even appropriating some of their lines. Three of the original actors have agreed to participate in the film, playing their respective characters after a span of many years: Charlotte Rampling as the hitchhiker in Vanishing Point (by Richard C. Sarafian, 1971), Abe Vigoda as the lawyer and best friend of the protagonist in The Conversation (by Francis Ford Coppola, 1974); and Dick Miller as the owner of the junkyard in Pulp Fiction (by Quentin Tarantino, 1994).
A list of Hollywood names appears at the end, informing that various other actors also played phantom characters in their careers. The typography of each name is based on that used in the posters of the respective films, as though the artist is proposing a game of discovering which films they were excluded from.
Agnieszka Kurant was born in 1978 in Lodz, Poland, and currently lives in New York. Her solo shows have most notably included exformation, Sculpture Center (New York, 2013) and Stroom den Haag (the Hague, Holland, 2013); 88.2 MHz, Objectif Exhibitions (Antwerp, Belgium, 2012), and Theory of Everything, Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw, Poland, 2012). She has participated in various important biennials such as the Performa Biennial of New York (2013 and 2009), the Venice Architecture Biennale (2010), the Bucharest Biennial (2008), and the Moscow Biennial (2007). Her work has been featured in group shows at prestigious venues that include Guggenheim (New York, 2015), MoMA PS1 (Long Island, 2013), Witte de With (Rotterdam, 2011), Tate Modern (London, 2006), and Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2004).