“Opera (QM.15)” transforms a recording of Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s live apparition as Maria Callas into a holographic illusion that creates a ghostly operatice presence. “Opera (QM.15)” fuses multiple temporal layers: the looped holographic projection of Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s live apparition of the famous diva is itself a construct of the younger Maria Callas’s voice—audible are recordings of arias from Luigi Cherubini’s Medea, Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata and Amilcare Ponchielli’s La Gioconda—clothed in the iconic red dress of the opera singer’s final performances. The work is influenced by the development of photography, early cinema and the interest in the uncanny shared by many 19th-century artists and writers. It is related to a larger body of work that Gonzalez-Foerster began in 2012: an ever-expanding ‘fragmented opera’ consisting of live and recorded performances in which she appears as a range of fictional or historical figures. The dramatic life-sized presence of the artist, also updates an old illusion technique from the late 19th century.
OPERA (QM. 15), 2016
- ArtistDominique Gonzalez-Foerster
- TitleOPERA (QM. 15)
- Year of Origin2016
- Technique and DurationHD video, projector, screens, media player, amplifier, speakers, lights, curtains / duration 8:30 min
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019 / Foto: The artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin
Maria Callas (1923–1977)
The daughter of Greek immigrants, Maria Callas was born in New York in 1923. Perhaps the most famous opera singer of the 20th century, she is best known for the virtuosity of her somehow unconventional voice, as well as for her dramatic musical interpretations. During her career, she performed more than forty different roles and recorded over twenty complete operas.
Text: Courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin