Phantom Rosebuds

Phantom Rosebuds
by Clifford Irving

A Book Launch and Cocktail Party
Featuring art/stage acts by Mario Garcia Torres, Kevin Killian, Amy Robinson, Nicholas Matranga, Morten Norbye Halvorsen and more

May 10, 2008, 7-10pm

The Prince
3198 W. 7th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90005

‘Phantom Rosebuds’ is a brand new autobiography of Clifford Irving, a controversial writer, lover, prisoner and film character. His ‘signature’ book* chronicles a subjective trawl through a notorious history – from his early years as a creative writing teacher, through the Howard Hughes scandal, right up to the moment of the author’s appearance in his own narrative. A considerable section of the story is dedicated to Clifford Irving’s role in ‘F for Fake,’ the 1972 film by Orson Welles about illusion, techniques of conviction and speculative value of art.

‘Why is Clifford Irving smiling?’ asks Orson Welles – rhetorically – in ‘F for Fake’?

‘I must believe that art itself is real,’ comes his answer.

Mario Garcia Torres, Kevin Killian, Amy Robinson, Nicholas Matranga and Morten Norbye Halvorsen will join the night of reading of ‘Phantom Rosebuds’ with highly engineered and dispersed artistic responses to the autobiography of Clifford Irving and, inevitably, ‘F for Fake.’ Their gestures will be directed towards fast and untranslatable connections between the event, the book and the story that may shift or evaporate at any given moment. The audience is invited to join a volatile mixture of sounds, colors and ideas that will create the cocktail of the night including questions asked before. Has our relationship to subjectivity, identity and self changed since 1972? Are we authoring our life collectively now? Is there more freedom to be someone else than a mere reason for it? Do memories always get created backwards? Will something incredible happen when everything is credible?

Neither a straightforward performance nor an adaptation of the book, the launch of ‘Phantom Rosebuds’ takes place in the cinematic Windsorian restaurant The Prince, one of the most highly acclaimed time-machines of LA – it can teleport no more than 50 people at a time, so early arrival is recommended. The Prince will play a perfect backdrop for the event, yet will be be replayed online as its active character before the event has even finished.

A Q & A session and book signing will follow. A sound of ‘Orson’s theme’ by Michel Legrand may be audible in the background. Prince Cast Generator may alter it irreversibly together with extracts of the remains ‘1999’ song by Prince.

A conversation on the rooftop of Museum of Jurassic Technology will preceed the event on May 9, 2008 at 7pm.
Museum of Jurassic Technology, 9341 Venice Boulevard, Culver City, CA  90232

‘Phantom Rosebuds’ is produced under the auspices of Dexter Sinister and published in conjunction with ART2102 in Los Angeles and New Langton Arts in San Francisco as as part of ‘F for Park’, a project in search of a parallel science of beats and concepts. Two weeks ago ‘Phantom Rosebuds’ was presented in ‘Clifford Irving Show’ in New Langton Arts in San Francisco where it was described as a ‘variety show of conceptual origin.’ The dynamic Q & A session that followed left many questions intricately dissected.

* In the book trade, a ‘signature’ is the name of a single folded-down sheet of printed paper usually bound with other signatures and cut to form pages, usually in denominations of 8. The version of ‘Phantom Rosebuds’ being launched in Los Angeles will take the form of ‘advance signatures’: the autobiography will be produced in an edition of 500 on a Dutch stencil printing machine. Then, a couple of months later the same piece will form the heart of the 16th issue of Dot Dot Dot, the biannual journal also published by Dexter Sinister and guest-co-edited by Raimundas Malasauskas. The rest of the issue will follow the themes which dominate both ‘Phantom Rosebuds’ and Orson Welles’ ‘F for Fake’: mirroring, shadowing, gaps, parallels, and practical time travel. Together with ‘Phantom Rosebuds’ it will return to Los Angeles as a different version of itself.

This event is made possible in part by the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Office for Contemporary Art Norway, the Department of Cultural Affairs Los Angeles and in conjunction with New Langton Arts San Francisco.

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