Review: Marco Brambilla’s ‘Creation’ spectacle at Christopher Grimes


The bang is not so big in Marco Brambilla’s “Creation (Megaplex),” the final part of a video collage trilogy at Christopher Grimes.

Our world emerges with relative modesty, as pulses of light and galactic crackling, set to the portentous opening chords of Prokofiev’s Cinderella Waltz. Things heat up quickly, however. Within four minutes, the earth has been populated, copulated upon, poisoned by progress, pageantry and pride, and set aflame, yielding assorted bits of cosmic debris -- the Statue of Liberty’s disembodied head, an untethered astronaut, the Bob’s Big Boy icon wearing rocket-powered shoes.

The cycle then begins again, coolly elegant origin giving way to fiery destruction, ad infinitum.


The New York-based Brambilla is a master mash-up artist with an insatiable taste for spectacle, Cecil B. DeMille on steroids, wielding ultra-high-tech tools. He stitches this epic story together from hundreds of snippets of preexisting cinematic footage and stages it in 3-D, as an ever-receding spiral.

There goes Julie Andrews, face aglow and arms outstretched, exulting in life amid rainbows and waterfalls. There goes Arnold Schwarzenegger, oiled up and flexing; Elton John’s Pinball Wizard, strutting; choreographed dancers, paraders, carousers; the Hollywood sign burning to the ground. Time is cast as a tunnel of doom, a passage from miasmic and oneiric to erotic and cataclysmic.

Brambilla makes it dazzlingly clear that this is the greatest story ever told, a syrupy concentrate of the only story there is, and worth telling again and again and again.

Christopher Grimes Gallery, 916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 587-3373, through Dec. 22. Closed Sunday and Monday.