Robert Boyd, "Xanadu Finale", 2006. 4-channel video installation, 3:40min. excerpt of a 28min. video installation. This excerpt was filmed at Xanadu's premier which occurred at Participant Inc. in NYC, May 2006.
Culled from hundreds of hours of archival footage including that of doomsday cults, iconic political figures and global fundamentalist movements, Robert Boyd's synchronized 4-channel video installation, "Xanadu", tweaks, condenses, and re-frames modern events into seconds-long image bites, representing a history of apocalyptic thought as a series of MTV-style music videos within a setting reminiscent of a discotheque.
In installation, the individual video works that together form "Xanadu", are synchronized to play in progression, one after the other, culminating in the climactic grand finale. The video, "Exit Strategy" (not shown), serves as both prologue and epilogue for the installation and is shown as a separate projection.
The series' culmination (shown here), "Xanadu", is a three-channel video that begins with George W. Bush's post-9/11 address to the nation, in which he declares the end of the "feel good" era and the beginning of a new one. This era, the artist suggests, is Xanadu—a conglomerate of our fears, paranoia, and prejudices—an envisioned Apocalypse in the process of being actualized. By contrasting the familiar and the fringe, the popular and the notorious, "Xanadu" suggests a displacement between the euphoric idyll promised by disco and the chilling reality of collective human brutality.
Installation images: robertboyd.info/xanadu