Meet the Chicago-based studio with a penchant for Cassavetes

Written by By Aimee Vymmikajlo, for CNN

If it wasn’t abundantly clear, Pete Langloss’ pieces are a clever twist on the clichéd, kitschy cliches that proliferate board rooms, offices and of course movies about business.

And so it was with “Dog Day Afternoon,” John Cassavetes’ 1972 US crime thriller that stars Al Pacino and Robert Duvall, a film he dissects like a detective or judge, interweaving disparate episodes of a bank robbery gone awry, a hold-up by police, a shoot-out with an ex-con, a pursuit by cops and an even more bloody scuffle on a New York City street.

Wildmarch defines its artistic aim as being “designed to transport” and to express a “well-defined but flexible” aesthetic. The Chicago-based practice’s already strong practice in site-specific installations includes “Burial Dead,” a half-formed fountain in 2001, and “Threshold”, a stage-like composition in 2009, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Abu Dhabi outpost.

In addition to “Dog Day Afternoon,” Wildmarch’s installation includes an examination of present day business systems, and the “Spring Forward,” which “will show how we can reconfigure our workplaces to create a more connected and equitable workplace, and that that function doesn’t necessarily involve an airy, circular office,” according to Victoria Crossland, Wildmarch’s “School House Diner” director and assistant curator of arts and programs at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

This month’s exhibition follows on the back of the acclaimed 2017 exhibition, “Dealin’ With the Devil” (which opened at the Guggenheim Museum Abu Dhabi in 2016) — a celebration of Moroccan art that juxtaposed French masters with Persian and Iraqi art. Though the exhibition took place in an entirely different location, Wildmarch successfully fused the beauty of traditional Moroccan art with contemporary art from around the world.

A Dog Days Afternoon (2018)

When Wildmarch accepted the opportunity to adapt Cassavetes’ 1971 drama, it is an honor that conjures the spirit of the man, who died in 1988. In his 2001 film, “Burial Dead,” Langloss successfully employed dialogue from a film article he had visited in person, developed through a conversation with Cassavetes’ granddaughter. As Langloss told “The Wire,” the actress said, “‘You say to me all the time that your great grandfather said things like, you could disguise yourself as a dog and draw blood,'” to which he then responded, “‘Well, I wouldn’t call it disguise, but I’m going to call it stopping the bleeding.'”

This week, Langloss returned to Maison & Objet, the Paris Design Week fair that closed September 22, 2017 — the same exhibit that received “wild praise” from French photographer Adrien Borne in his annual review, titled “Where Art Meets Contemporary Design.”

A Dog Days Afternoon (2018)

The latest installation marks a return to Germany, where Wildmarch has exhibited many times before, most recently in a major retrospective at the Margarethe Bauhaus (1936-1945) design school, the Elbe Air, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany in 2016.


Also, of note, Martin Scorsese’s 1988 film “The Age of Innocence,” in which the film director turned Cassavetes’ film into “an English language portrait of the creative process.” The New York Times , called Scorsese’s remake an “astonishing feat” that “carries a lesson for artists, inventors and entrepreneurs alike: That when it comes to creativity, you don’t need a safe house or a decade to build it. You just need a magical idea that suddenly sticks.”

Wildmarch’s accompanying video traces the mental process that leads to designing and executing its installation. Curated by Evan Halverson, writer-director of the 2016 film “Down and Out in Paris and London,” “A Dog Days Afternoon” runs until October 28.

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