Immaterial Whirl

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New York's Ohio Edit had a rare opportunity to combine pop and art when the shop's founder, Frank Snyder, cut film for "X-STaTIC PRo=CeSS," a pretentiously titled multimedia exhibit touted as Madonna's art world debut (running until May 3 at the Deitch Projects gallery in New York). Snyder had shot a recent Calvin Klein campaign with fashion guru Fabien Baron and photographer Steven Klein, who masterminded the whole affair. Klein recently shot a feature on Madonna for W magazine, coinciding with the debut of her new album, and he was inspired to take his unusual images to a new level. The exhibit features manipulated still and moving images he captured during the shoot, blown up and projected in hi-def on 12x30-foot multipaneled screens. Snyder stepped in to help carve out the video pieces. He pinpointed and stitched together various loops from Klein's film to create evocatively repetitive pieces that make even Madonna look peculiar. In one, she writhes on a bed ever so slowly, her arm twisting elegantly back and forth in Sufi-like poses; in another, she's hunched over like a collapsed marionette, taking huge staccato breaths.

At times, the editing process became technically tedious, but, overall, it was a breath of fresh air, according to Snyder. "The one thing I really liked about this project, which is completely different from TV commercials, is that this was absolutely ambiguous," he says. "Ambiguity and TV commercials are completely alien to one another, but ambiguity and art go hand in hand." Yeah, it's all in the PRo=CeSS.

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