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"Marco Brambilla: HalfLife in the Zenith Media Lounge"
2003-10-02 until 2003-12-07
New Museum of Contemporary Art
New York, NY, USA

Taking the game Counter-Strike-the popular first-person shooter, multi-user video game-as the subject of his exhibition, Brambilla transports us physically and psychologically to a cyber-cafe in Garden Grove, Orange County (a town that boasts the highest concentration of cyber-cafe's in the U.S.). In Counter-Strike, users log onto separate computers to play against each other on one of two teams: terrorists and counter-terrorists.

Brambilla’s project presents video footage of close-ups of the players' faces while they are absorbed in the game, edited footage from the game itself, and surveillance-style imagery of the cyber-cafe. The confluence of physical and virtual realms is a general theme of Brambilla’s project-specifically our desire to view "real" people and events through a variety of popular media, from television to video games. HalfLife illuminates our sense of alienation within public, shared spaces and investigates our cultural fascination with spectacle. Anne Ellegood is the guest curator of this exhibition.

HalfLife is comprised of three components: Garden Grove-a video of gamers playing Counter-Strike in a cyber-café in Garden City; Surveillance-video footage of the faces of the competitors, projected in large format in the gallery; and, Game Engine-a video of imagery taken from the actual Counter-Strike game.

About Marco Brambilla

Born in Milan in 1960, Brambilla worked as a commercial and feature film director before turning in 1998 to video and photography projects. Brambilla has exhibited in international venues such as the Kunsthalle in Bern, Switzerland, and his work is included in the collections of both the Guggenheim Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 1991, he was commissioned by Creative Time to present a project on the Times Square Panavision Screen. Brambilla now lives and works in New York City.


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