Banks Violette at WorkInterview by James Westcott
Banks Violetteâ€™s installation at the Team Gallery in 2002, referenced the murder of 15-year old Elyse Marie Pahier in 1995 by three teenage boys who were heavily into death metal. They stabbed her 12 times and left her body in a forest for eight months. Violette set up stalactite-shaped black bongos on cymbal stands, which somehow resembled trees, and made a repulsively slick black pool of hard resin with a fallen tree trunk resting in it. Violette has made melting black drum kits and small stages; he paints horrific skulls, mournful faces, and galloping white horses too. He performs a strange kind of alchemy on the heavy metal aesthetic, so that itâ€™s not quite kitsch, and not quite willfully ugly like the original, but more entrancing and always accusatory. A star of last yearâ€™s Whitney Biennial, Violette has been invited back for a solo show. I visited his studio to watch him at work.
James Westcott: Whatâ€™s your new work for the Whitney about?
Banks Violette: There were a series of events that took place in Norway in the early 90s within the subculture of black metal. It happened in a place that is ethnically homogenous, with an elevated average income, and where Christianity has a large function in day-to-day life. In the early 90s, a group of about 20 teenagers got heavily involved with more extreme versions of heavy metalâ€”theatrically aggressive, overtly satanic, the real barbarian dimension of heavy metal.Read the entire article hereSource:
Ultra-Violette by Ben Davis
The first thing you see when you enter the Whitneyâ€™s first-floor project gallery is the 16 x 20 foot recreation of a burned-out church, slightly elevated atop a gleaming, mirror-like black stage. The beams of the structure are zombie white, gashed here and there, made of salt bonded with polyurethane resin. In places, the structure is broken, the jagged ends rimmed with black as if charred.
As you walk around the construction, the scene is washed over by the murky, dank drone of electric noise, throbbing from speakers around the perimeter of the space. The ominous music seems to pulsate with your movements (in fact, it is connected to motion sensors), as if the ruin was haunted and responding to you as you circled it. Read the entire article hereSource: