A project including:
Be More Brando – Letterpress Giclee print
Brando Facepalm – Giclee print, 29.7cm x 21cm
Being Brando – Archival footage, 7mins 10secs
The exhibition Be More Brando was presented at Mostyn, Llandudno in 2015.
Be More Brando takes Apocalypse Now, a film well known for its turbulent production, as inspiration. While Brando was publicly scapegoated by Francis Ford Coppola for problems on set including lack of preparation, Brando’s personal archive has uncovered heavily annotated editions of the novel ‘Heart of Darkness’, letters and audio between the two showing that Brando shaped the vision of the film.
Highlighting the actor as a symbol of mythology, Be More Brando explores Brando’s current status as a misinterpreted and misunderstood god. Exploring the differences between inhabiting and being, the work aims to question the use of power within the act, be it one of gaining or in fact draining. In the case of Brando, is the desire to impersonate about indulging in or becoming another self?
Brando Facepalm is a self portrait taken in the guise of Marlon Brando in character as H. G. Wells’ Dr Moreau. The format of the photograph was initially a riff on MOSTYN gallery’s origins as a place to house the work of the Gwynedd Ladies’ Arts Society, which presented an image of each participant proudly placed within their rented golden frame. The use of Brando’s Dr Moreau visually reflects the contrast between his God like status and his tragic life.
Being Brando presents a compilation of Marlon Brando impressions by both fans and professional actors. The range of sources and selection of Brando traits common to most of the impersonations shows the extent to which his performances have disseminated popular culture. Being Brando pulls at the process of imitation itself as a way to take on another character either through desire to worship or to forget oneself.