クソ～ッ、行きたい！！！As If Gallery
| 529 Manhattan Ave New York NY 10027 | 646-338-2140
AS IF Gallery is pleased to announce as the second exhibition of its new gallery in Harlem, a tribute to the late artist The Ramm:ell:zee. The exhibition will consist of two works: an audio installation by Seth Tillett, Pond Slide (1981/2010), culled from recordings made by Tillett with The Ramm:ell:zee in 1981. The second component will be a single work on paper by Ramm:ell:zee, There's Gonna Be An Oil Slick, from 1988, a gift by the artist to Tillett.
October 9 – 30
Opening October 9, from 3 - 6 pm.
The Equation: The Ramm:ell:zee (1960-2010)
The Ramm:ell:zee was an artist-theoretician, master mic-controller, philosopher-jester, and creator of a significant body of visual art, performance documentation and recorded music. He imparted an important set of ideas, known as Gothic Futurism/Ikonoklast Panzerism, evolving it into an incandescent theoretical engine which illuminated Hip Hop culture from within. Ramm's thought is inseparable from his artistic output, in which he both proclaimed and waged an apocalyptic battle at the core of written language.
"We created all this in the dark!" The Ramm:ell:zee
Ramm's art evolved from a wide range of influences. He drew from the near cabalistic concepts of the Five Percenters (Gods and Earths) and pored over Dictionaries, Encyclopedias and works on Mathematics, Physics, Linguistics and Calligraphy, as did his friend and colleague, Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat and Rammellzee were emancipating words from their definitions, and punning them, not unlike Raymond Rousell, James Joyce or even Lewis Carroll, into fluid political and poetical slanguages. Wordplay became a deadly game.
Rammellzee created, sui generis, an ideographic system, then a unique performance form, and ultimately a series of awesome yet terrifying costumes with which to deliver it. Through a cartoon echo chamber and his 'Gangsta Duck' vocalizations, Rammell challenged authority structures built upon secret knowledge and protected definitions. This was a Wagnerian Gesamtkunst with apocalyptic implications for communication itself. Ramm was embraced by linguists, poets and post-modern literary theorists for his insistence on signification at the level of the letter. He achieved the status of a jester, shaman, oracle and sage. Ramm's thought sprang, not from the academy, but from a baroque imagination, deeply rooted in the street culture of Far Rockaway, NY.
Pond Slide originates from audio recordings I made with Rammell in 1981. Commissioned by LEI Magazine of Milan, French photographer Pascal Franco and I shot hundreds of slides of Rammell, Shockdell, Melle Mel, Davey D and other Mic Controllers, free-styling in multiple locations, usually with the Rock Steady Crew break dancing in the center. When I reviewed these images with Rammellzee, I mic'd him to record his responses. With the death of Pascal Franco in the mid-nineties, these images were lost. The recordings remain.
In Pond Slide, I've attempted an audio portrait of The Ramm:ell:zee in his own words, and by extension, a portrait of one of the most refined provinces of Hip Hop culture at a crucial moment in it's development.
Seth Tillett, 2010
"To wipe out a language in order to create a new one with its own ikon system and phonetics is hard!
I know of no one yet that has done that."
Seth Tillett is a designer, composer and artist. Born in NYC into a family of textile makers, he has created scenography for many productions in opera and dance and has composed music and audio assemblages for the ballet and theatre as well sound works exhibited at Gallerie Écart, Genève and Gallerie Erste Privat, Berlin.
AS IF Gallery is a collaboration between Nicole Rauscher, fabric designer, Seth Tillett, and Diego Cortez, curator. The gallery is dedicated to their friend Sylvère Lotringer, Editor of Semiotext(e) and the Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Series.
For further information please contact Nicole Rauscher
+1 646 338 2140
Gallery Hours by appointment only: Wednesday - Saturday, 12 noon to 6 pm