In the holographic illusion OPERA (QM.15) Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster appears in the guise of legendary soprano Maria Callas (1923–77). Dressed in the singer’s signature red dress and dramatic makeup, the artist lip-syncs to arias from Cherubini’s Medea, Verdi’s La Traviata and Ponchielli’s La Gioconda. Situated at the end of a derelict corridor, and encountered from a distance of 30 metres, the luminous figure is at first startlingly life-like – an impression reinforced by the strength of Callas’s voice.
OPERA (QM.15) is influenced by the development of photography, early cinema and the interest in the uncanny shared by many 19th-century artists and writers. It is related to a larger body of work that Gonzalez-Foerster began in 2012: an ever-expanding ‘fragmented opera’ consisting of live and recorded performances in which she appears as a range of fictional or historical figures. To Gonzalez-Foerster, each performance – including her turn as Maria Callas – is not theatre, but rather ‘a kind of séance.’
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (b. 1965, Strasbourg) lives and works in Paris and Rio de Janeiro.
OPERA (QM.15) is part of The Infinite Mix Exhibition.