Chariots Of The Gods, '10
             
             
       
 




Chariots Of The Gods was first exhibited at Sonnabend Gallery in NY, then at Nolan Judin in Berlin, Wetterling Gallery in Stockholm, The Mint Museum in Charlotte, Kevin Bruk Gallery in Miama, Honor Fraser Gallery, LA and Young Projects in LA.

PRESS RELEASE, NOLAN JUDIN, BERLIN, 2010

Nolan Judin Berlin is pleased to present New York artist Matthew Weinstein's work in Berlin—his second exhibition in Germany after a one-man museum show in 2004 at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. A highlight of Matthew Weinstein: 3 Pigs And 3 Fish is the European premiere of his new film, "Chariots of the Gods". Further developing his unique format of 3-D animated cabaret, Weinstein's longest and most ambitious animation project to date is once again a monologue by a female character (in this case spoken by Tony-Award winning actress Natasha Richardson). The protagonist is an articulated metal fish hanging from a golden chain inside an empty restaurant. She discourses on aliens, the impossibility of progress, climate and other weighty topics. She bubbles along in her monologue, moving from one room of the restaurant to another, delivering bombshells with a smile. The radical change in this piece is the fully articulated virtual set. It is a reconstruction of Ernie's Restaurant from Hitchcock's "Vertigo". Hitchcock himself had Ernie's, a local San Francisco restaurant, reconstructed as a set for his film. Weinstein's computer generated version of the restaurant is the virtual reconstruction of Hitchcock's reconstruction. Weinstein's main influence in all his animations is the "Epic Theater", of Bertolt Brecht. By employing presentational theatrical devices and performances, narrative interruptions, and songs, Brecht created theater that was supposed to be discussed and unraveled. He created issue-oriented productions with a strong entertainment factor. The Cabaret, which is the expression of the highly personal as the political, is also in a direct relationship to Weinstein's animations. Weinstein's process remains consistent. A script is written. Then characters are developed, conceptualized and created in a 3-D animation and rendering program. Actors are chosen to read the dialogue. A musician or a band is chosen to put Weinstein's song lyrics to music, and to create the musical and sound landscape for the piece. Then the piece is conceptualized, animated and rendered. Like the previous animated cabarets, "Three Love Songs From The Bottom Of The Ocean" and "Siam", music is essential to "Chariots of the Gods". For "Siam", Weinstein had the Israeli band Balkan Beat Box put his lyrics to music. For his latest production, Weinstein worked with local DJ and electronic music composer Adultnapper. As in "Three Love Songs", the style of the music is reflective but in no way illustrative of the content. Weinstein will also be exhibiting six new paintings. Weinstein's paintings spring out of the digital environments he creates for his animated cabarets. Using precision airbrush technique and single hair paintbrushes, Weinstein creates paintings that evoke his invented world. In Weinstein's work, there is no fall off in technique between media. The paintings and sculptures are not a document of an animated film, but are artworks on their own terms. Created analytically, by examining the output from the computer in minute detail, Weinstein is able to analyze reflectivity and surface and translate these phenomena into paint. The paintings are, therefore, abstractions of reality based on an abstraction of reality, and mirror his interest in the general trend in Western culture towards blurring the boundaries between the real and the virtual, and entertainment and information. In the translation of binary data to the ancient act of painting, Weinstein has found a way to make paintings that are technical mobius strips. He has also found a way to make realist paintings that avoid being based on either photography or observation of the natural world. In "Allegory", a larcenous pig steals money from another pig while a pig policeman looks on. They stand in a coppery city, the color of shiny pennies. This painting comes out of Weinstein's upcoming animated cabaret, "The Childhood Of Bertolt Brecht", which will premiere in New York later in the year. "Artichoke", and "Big Cheesy Moon", evokes the character and environment from the animated cabaret, "Chariots of The Gods". "Tiny Bubbles", and "Two Ships" depict the world created for the animated cabaret, "Siam". "Green Branches", is a depiction of an ikebana arrangement. The branches sprout paper cocktail umbrellas and glass medallions fall around it, reflecting and refracting the branches. This painting appears as itself, inside "Artichoke". It is reproduced in miniature and set into the background of the painting. In front of this painting of a painting is a depiction of an 'actual' ikebana arrangement, that comes from an earlier painting that Weinstein made in 2006. __Reflection is an important element of Weinstein's work. Just as the animated cabarets often involve characters reflected by their own environments (metaphorically and literally), Weinstein often paints glass medallions, mirrors, bubbles and reflective floors. Reflection also occurs in the way the paintings and animated cabarets reference and reflect each other. Characters from one pop up in another as a depiction or as an active character. Shadows, another kind of reflection, loom in the backgrounds of these works, dark crisp shadows like shadows created by strongly motivated theatrical lighting, suggesting that these cabarets and tableaux are being played for an audience, and we are witnessing the performance of a performance as reflected in the gaze of a mirror.


Chariots of the Gods
2009
17 minute 3-D animation with dialogue and music
Voice: Natasha Richardson
Composer: Adultnapper

The animated film, 'Chariots of The Gods 2009,' with related paintings and sculptures.

-The script for 'Chariots of The Gods, 2009'-

CHARIOTS OF THE GODS:

MATTHEW WEINSTEIN

(METAL FISH DANGLES FROM A GOLDEN CHAIN)

When the aliens came it was embarrassing for all those who had said,

'we are alone in the universe.'

The Aliens pretended not to mind.

Maybe they thought it was funny.

Who knows?

I sit in the leathery embraces of a gigantic wing backed chair.

A crackling fire vainly views it's bulbous reflection in a hand-cut rock-crystal goblet which contains an amber refreshment, and is itself just barely prevented by my gentle grasp from becoming a fragmented scatter of shards and tiny pools of liquid.

A clock ticks.

There is someone else present.

He is the size of a grain of talcum powder.

He lives on another planet.

Nothing that resembles thought has ever illuminated anything inside his absence of anything that we would call a head.

A loop-de-loop of psychic vacuum tubes pushes a cycle of morally self-reflexive narrative events and worn out jokes through his nervous system.

He is incapable of absorbing new information.

He is incapable of change.

His contemplation of the lavender mists of his planet which feed an amorous and constantly multiplying race does nothing to disturb a story about a poor girl who is corrupted by fame and tramples everything she loves only to realize that everything that now exists under her giant famous feet are the things that will save and redeem her in the end.

This story whirls through and around him.

This story is unchanging.

This story is so detailed that in human time and human telling it would take the same amount of time to tell as it would take to live from the Battle of Hastings to the dissolution of the English language.

Our spaceman is now contemplating a decorative hair clip she is wearing as she sits in her bedroom in suburban Michigan.

The girl's hair clip has a row of imitation pear shaped diamonds that throw caustic reflections on each other, as a sunbeam hits her head, one of the few allowed entry through her window due to the sheltering authority of a giant chestnut tree whose two trunks create a V shape as they separate from their common trunk to create a crotch shaped area that causes unspoken embaresment and future sexual dysfunction in several members of the family.

The artificial diamonds are glued to a piece of transparent plastic.

Each diamond rests at a different angle due to hasty assembly.

On closer inspection, glue can be seen through the imitation gems, and a thin film of dust has adhered itself to the glue.

The dust is composed of tiny hairs, dead skin cells, insect legs…

And so on.

We are having a fine time, my friend and I, even though everything he is experiencing will occur over a million years after I am dead.

The aliens.

They only seem arrogant.

They are actually very thoughtful.

The magnitude of the thoughtfulness of The Aliens is only matched by the magnitude of their feelings of entitlement to continually criticize us.

Our emotional lives are often scorned by them.

'You call those feelings?' they say.

'Well… yes,' we answer, tears streaming down our faces.

'Imagine a mouse in a box,' The Aliens say.

'A child tapes a new box on to the mouse's house to create an addition.

The child may imagine that the mouse is regarding the child's benevolence as if the child were an aged aunt who had bequeathed the mouse an estate in the South of France.

But what does the mouse really feel?

Perhaps blind panic?

Perhaps a dull recognition that something is not the same?

This is what your feelings are like to us,' The Aliens say.

'You are mouse people, and we find you adorable in the way that mice are adorable in the telling of tales.

'But,' we argue, 'perhaps a mouse's emotional reactions to his newly expanded environment are equivalent to our emotional reactions to the realization of the existence of infinite and before impossible possibilities.

And if we were to then remove the edition to the mouse's house, and box him in to his old smaller space, would his confusion be relative to the crushing human realization that we experience when the impossibility of the infinite and the inevitability of defeat by the forces of entropy is revealed to us in our first realization that we are tragic beings?'

'It is not,' The Aliens say.

'Nothing is relative and nothing is equivalent to anything else.

A pound of feathers does not equal a pound of sand.'

If we have hurt your tiny feelings, we apologize.'

(THE ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM DESCENDS)

Behold the Antikythera mechanism, an analog computer from 150 to 100BC.

It was designed to calculate astronomical positions.

I have never traveled to see the remains of the original mechanism at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.

I believe that traveling this far to see something that has already been well documented is a register of an untrusting nature.

I have seen a reconstruction of this magnificent device at the American Computer Museum in Bozeman, Montana; a quick trip from where I have always spent the better months of summer.

The mechanism contains thirty gears that crank out the positions of the sun, the moon and other planets on any date selected, with impeccable accuracy.

It takes leap years into account, the Sothick cycle and the zodiac.

The whole mechanism is only 13 inches high and 3.5 inches thick.

Ancient man was far too stupid to build things like pyramids and huge stone heads, not to mention this perfect machine, without cheating off somebody's paper.

In this case, the smart kids in the front row were The Aliens.

(THE ANTIKETHERA MECHANISM ASCENDS)

The Aliens left earth because they found being treated as gods to be rather embarrassing.

They compare it to the initial effect of traditional Japanese hospitality on the American tourist.

The aliens decided to re-visit us when we had acquired a more jaded attitude towards what comes out of the sky.

They waited out the period during which we believed that they were gods.

And then they waited out the period during which we believed in the gods we had transformed them in to after they had vanished.

And once that was all over, and they decided that we had come to our senses and believed in nothing, and weren't looking for anything to believe in, they decided that they could come back and just hang out, as initially planned.

(A CLOCK WITH BIG EXPOSED GEARS DESCENDS)

I am building a machine that will be able to calibrate the effect of an individual's net worth on the self-esteem of those surrounding him.

This machine will take into account:

The distance of the operator from those effected.

The net worth of those the operator comes into contact with.

And the relative value placed on money in the society in which the operator exists.

Use of this machine by the privileged would pre-empt unrest as well as apathy in the multitude by suggesting subtle modifications in the behavior of the operator in his relationships with those less fortunate.

For instance:

When is it time for a bit of force?

And when is it time to donate a new opera house to the city?

I was told that the Mayans had created such a machine with the help of alien astronauts and that it had ended up in France and was widely utilized by French kings up in to the realm of Louis the 16th, when it was faultily serviced, and the rest of the story is what it is.

So there really is nothing new under the sun, which is one of my great comforts.

But I wait for the disappointment of change.

One night, a happy beam of light danced off of a water glass and sang me a song.

This is how it all came about.

I had been having a perfectly ordinary dinner with a friend.

My friend had made the mistake of blowing a cloud of smoke into my face.

This smoke was a thought bubble and the bubble said, 'who the hell are you?'

'Who the hell am I?' I coughed.

'What?' he asked, 'are you talking about?'

'I think you know,' I answered.

The evening was about to degenerate into an endless circle of argumentation, when I was suddenly distracted by this happy beam of light down which a little man skipped.

The little man was wearing a top hat and tails.

He tipped his hat to me.

His smile was electric and infectious.

I smiled back and waved at him.

He did a shuffling and sliding sort of dance down the length of the light beam and then climbed back up it, pretending that a great wind was impeding his progress, even going so far in his mimicry as to simulate the effect of the wind on his hat.

'Hello you!' I whispered to him.

'Hey there you lucky lady, you lucky, lucky lady!' he sang to me.

'Why am I lucky?' I asked.

'You are lucky,' he said, 'because you live in the shadows of your own dreams and these shadows are so dark that you cannot see what is in front of you.'

He tapped up and off the beam of light and diffused into a tiny galaxy of twinkles.

'Picture a wide expanse of land,' his disembodied voice said.

'The land is covered in snow.

It is very cold and very grey.

Enormous sun lamps illuminate and warm a patch of this ground and sustain a wild English garden complete with the simulated ruins of a crumbling stone folly.

A Chinese pagoda projects incongruously from the plantings.

Little Japanese bridges cross over man-made, pebble lined, dry riverbeds where no river has ever run.

A group of dogs in pointed party hats race electric wheelchairs through the pathways of the garden.'

Then his voice stopped.

I wanted more.

Where were these dogs racing off to?

Whose party were they attending?

'Where are you?' I shouted, fanning the air.

'I'm right here,' my dinner date replied.

'Not you!' I snapped at him. 'NOT YOU!'

My glass no longer sparkled.

It was lipstick stained and matted with the finger print evidence of the fidgety boredom that I had been experiencing thru ought this dinner.

Thought bubbles of cigarette smoke rose over head and vanished into a ceiling painted to resemble the sky as seen by a jaded libertine who can no longer appreciate the simple act of looking without an accompanying physical pleasure.

(A NEON SIGN DESCENDS, LIKE A SIGN FROM A MOTEL. 'AIR CONDITIONED, NO VACANCY.' THE 'NO' IS BLOWN OUT. 'AIR CONDITIONED VACANCY.')

Everybody close your eyes and let's have complete silence.

ROOM TONE OF AIR CONDITIONING BECOMES VERY AUDIBLE)

You can hear the air conditioning, can't you?

This air conditioning is for you.

It's part of your experience, with me.

Your comfort means everything to me.

(THE AIR CONDITIONING SOUND CLICKS ON AND OFF AS SHE SAYS, 'ON,' 'OFF,' 'ON,' 'OFF.')

On.

Off.

On.

Off.

(THE AIR CONDITIONING SOUND IS OFF)

I'd really like to give you more then climate.

I hope you believe me.

Can you feel it getting warmer?

I'd like to be able to give you answers to all of the questions that I had requested you to write out on complementary pieces of paper when you came here tonight.

Do you know what I have done with all those little pieces of paper that you handed to me?

Do you?

I threw them out the minute I received them.

Don't worry.

They've been shredded.

Is it just me, or is it getting kind of hot in here?

I apologize for recycling your questions.

I just know what I can and cannot do.

I am always one to make a request.

'Please do this, please do that,' you can frequently hear me ask.

But I am not a great answerer of questions.

So I have done what I can do.

No need to thank me.

I enjoy being here with you.

This heat.

You are all so warm.

You are all warming up the room.

Before I leave you,

And it must be forever,

Those are the rules,

Before I leave you I ask you to appreciate my lack of sentimental attachment to the learning process.

I ask you to appreciate the enormity of what you now do not know.

I ask you to curtsy and bow to me with blank smiles of incomprehension as I stride past you,

Out of this room marked 'A,'

And into the next room, marked 'B,'

Please do not touch me as I glide past you,

And,

As your body temperatures rise,

And your faces flush,

And your hands become clammy,

I ask you to appreciate the cooling breezes of climate control as I give you back,

Your comfort.

And of course a little song.

(SONG TITLE: THE FULL MOON SONG)

Annie, It isn't dark.
There's a full moon.
Can you see anything?
It's all right here.
It isn't dark,
It's a full moon. Annie.

You're like so many people,
That I already know.
Eyes like itty bitty book lights,
Squinting through
paper punch holes.
You connect the dots
With a blunt pencil.

It's a wonder you see
Anything at all.
It isn't dark,
It's a full moon, Annie.

What's it like, you wonder,
To miss nothing at all,
As life passes by you in a blur.
As my twitching bird's head
Takes snap shots.
As detailed as an index
Or new glasses, clear.

Why do you order fish
When it's not on the menu?
And when the waiter says,
'We have no fish tonight.'
How do you miss
What is right in front of you,
And see things that are not.

Annie, It isn't dark.
There's a full moon.
Can you see anything?

Annie, It isn't dark.
There's a full moon.
Can you see anything?

Annie. Annie.

Big Cheesey moon,
Bright enough for me.
Bright enough for everyone.

Big Cheesey moon,
Bright enough to see.
Bright enough for everyone.

Big Cheesey moon,
Bright enough for me.
Bright enough for everyone.

Big Cheesey moon,
Bright enough to see.
Bright enough for everyone.

THE END


Chariots of the Gods 2009 17 minute 3-D animation with dialogue and music Voice: Natasha Richardson Composer: Adultnapper
Chariots of the Gods 2009 17 minute 3-D animation with dialogue and music Voice: Natasha Richardson Composer: Adultnapper
Chariots of the Gods 2009 17 minute 3-D animation with dialogue and music Voice: Natasha Richardson Composer: Adultnapper
Chariots of the Gods 2009 17 minute 3-D animation with dialogue and music Voice: Natasha Richardson Composer: Adultnapper
Chariots of the Gods 2009 17 minute 3-D animation with dialogue and music Voice: Natasha Richardson Composer: Adultnapper
Chariots of the Gods 2009 17 minute 3-D animation with dialogue and music Voice: Natasha Richardson Composer: Adultnapper
Chariots of the Gods 2009 17 minute 3-D animation with dialogue and music Voice: Natasha Richardson Composer: Adultnapper
Chariots of the Gods 2009 17 minute 3-D animation with dialogue and music Voice: Natasha Richardson Composer: Adultnapper
Chariots of the Gods 2009 17 minute 3-D animation with dialogue and music Voice: Natasha Richardson Composer: Adultnapper
Chariots of the Gods 2009 17 minute 3-D animation with dialogue and music Voice: Natasha Richardson Composer: Adultnapper
Chariots of the Gods 2009 17 minute 3-D animation with dialogue and music Voice: Natasha Richardson Composer: Adultnapper
Chariots of the Gods 2009 17 minute 3-D animation with dialogue and music Voice: Natasha Richardson Composer: Adultnapper
Little Metal Fish, 2009 18/16 inches acrylic on canvas
Acorns, 2009 32/44 inches acrylic on canvas
Big Cheesy Moon, 2010 45/78 inches acrylic on canvas
Artechoke, 2010 45/78 inches acrylic on canvas
Mirror, 2010 45/78 inches acrylic on canvas
Tripple Mirror, 2010 45/78 inches acrylic on canvas
Forsythia, 2009 44/32 inches acrylic on canvas
'Chariots of The Gods' installed at the Nolan/Judin Gallery in Berlin, 2010
NY Magazine 10 best of 2009