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Ronald Nameth

Exploding Plastic Inevitable

Utställning | Ronald Nameth | Exploding Plastic Inevitable | Fotografiska Stockholm

It was in April 1966 that the first complete manifestation of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable or EPI took place at the venue Dom in New York City. The EPI was a legendary media projection environment created by Andy Warhol in the late 1960s.

We all knew something revolutionary was happening

The EPI was composed of screenings of Warhol’s films (https://fotografiska.woo.flewid.se/exhibition/exploding-plastic-inevitable/) together with music by The Velvet Underground, which was comprised of some of the most dynamic rock musicians of the time, including Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Mo Tucker, and singer/actress Nico. Additionally the EPI featured dancing and performances by Warhol’s Factory Superstars. It was advertised as “Live Music, Dancing, Ultra Sounds, Visions and Lightworks”.The experience of the EPI was as thrilling as it was totally overwhelming. Once adjusted to the initial sonic blast of The Velvet Underground, a listener at the venue Dom could hear the undertones of Rhythm and Blues, improvisations of free jazz, as well as the musical avant-garde and mystical drone of composer LaMonte Young. The EPI spectacle attracted many people and a great deal of media attention. Filmmaker Barbara Rubin invited poet Allen Ginsberg to join the event. Jacqueline Kennedy as well as much of New York’s art society witnessed this major cultural experience. Warhol said of this time, ”We all knew something revolutionary was happening. We just felt it. Things could not look this strange and new without some barrier being broken.”The Exploding Plastic Inevitable toured across the United States from 1966 – 1967. At Poor Richard’s in Chicago, Illinois in June of 1966, filmmaker and photographer Ronald Nameth made extensive recordings of the EPI during a one week period. Nameth’s recordings resulted in an 18-minute film and a four screen projection installation featuring music by The Velvet Underground and Nico. It is Nameth’s four-projection installation that recreates Warhol’s EPI at Fotografiska. The exhibition also includes an extensive selection of prints by Nameth, from this collaboration with Warhol’s EPI.

Ronald Nameth has been working with film, electronics, video, and digital media from the 1960s until today. In addition to Warhol, Nameth has collaborated with several key figures in the arts including musical innovators John Cage and Terry Riley, photographers Aaron Siskand and Art Sinsabauagh, as well as many other artists and performers. His work is represented in numerous collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Louisiana Museum of Contemporary Art, Musée d’Árt Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris, MACBA- Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, and MUMOK- the Museum of Contemporary Art, Vienna.