Seduce Me by Isabella Rossellini at The Wolfsonian-FIU

During Art Basel Miami Beach 2010, The Wolfsonian-FIU design museum in Miami Beach was showcasing the temporary exhibition “Speed Limits” and “Seduce Me”, an installation / presentation by Isabella Rossellini, Andy Byers, and Rick Gilbert.

After her highly praised “Green Porno”, Isabella Rossellini’s Award-winning comical series on how animals mate, she and her collaborators Andy Byers and Rick Gilbert realized another series titled Seduce Me. For the presentation of Seduce Me at The Wolfsonian, Andy Byers realized a site-specific installation that features the complex and imaginative paper sculptures made by Andy Byers that are used in the videos for sets, props, and costumes. The site also features episodes of Green Porno and the Seduce Me videos that have been created, produce, directed, written, and performed by Isabella Rossellini and produced and art directed by Rick Gilbert.

VernissageTV had the chance to meet up with Andy Byers and Rick Gilbert at The Wolfsonian. In this conversation with Sabine Trieloff, Byers and Gilbert talk about the Green Porno and Seduce Me projects: the creation process, the collaboration with Isabella Rossellini, their background, and future projects. More information is available after the jump.

Isabella Rossellini: Seduce Me. Interview with Andy Byers and Rick Gilbert at The Wolfsonian-Florida International University. Miami Beach / USA, December 4, 2010.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

From the press release (PDF):

Regarding the videos, Rossellini notes, “After my comical series, Green Porno, on how animals mate, I wanted to showcase a new series about how animals seduce each other with different, varied and incredible strategies…they might give us some new ideas about how to conquer our mates!” The videos feature Rossellini speaking directly to the camera about the creature at hand, and uses animation, paper cut-outs, and puppets to illustrate its particular, often peculiar, mating strategies. The upcoming episodes of Seduce Me can be found at the Sundance Channel website.

About Isabella Rossellini

Moving easily from early forays into comedy and television reporting to roles in movies, television, and stage productions and from an illustrious international modeling career (as the face of Lancí´me for 14 years) and developing her own brand of cosmetics to writing and philanthropy, and after appearing in more than 40 films (Blue Velvet, Death Becomes Her, The Saddest Music in the World, Infamous) and 25 made-for-television movies/series (Alias, Discovery Atlas: Italy Revealed, Iconoclasts, 30 Rock), Isabella Rossellini turned her eye to film making. Her debut was her mischievous and witty film, My Dad is 100 Years Old, a pretend dialogue about the essence of film. In it, Rossellini appears as herself, speaks her father’s words, and also brilliantly portrays Fellini, Selznick, Hitchcock, Chaplin, and her own mother, notable actress Ingrid Bergman, whom she strikingly resembles.

Rossellini recently wrapped production on French director Julie Gavras’ romantic comedy Late Bloomers, opposite William Hurt, which is set for release in 2011. She also stars in the following films: Keyhole, directed by Guy Maddin; Chicken with Plums, directed by Marjane Satrapi; and The Solitude of Prime Numbers, directed by Saverio Costanzo.

In 2008 Robert Redford’s Sundance Channel commissioned Rossellini to make a series of short films to address the issues of the environment. She chose the mating habits of bugs and called her series Green Porno which has been celebrated in film festivals here and abroad. In 2009, she won the Webby Award for “Best Individual Performance” for Green Porno. She has once again been nominated this year for the same award. For the second series, which involves sea creatures, she took courses in biology at New York University. In addition to the shorts on the Sundance Channel, a book of Green Porno was released last fall which included all three seasons of the shorts: http://www.sundancechannel.com/greenporno/

On the heels of the great success of Green Porno, Rossellini has partnered up with Sundance again for a new series about animal courtship entitled Seduce Me. The first five short films became available on video on demand in the spring and the second five will be released in November 2010.

Rossellini is also a wildlife activist and dedicated trainer of Labrador puppies for the blind. She was recently honored by The Audubon Society for her work. She has written three books: Some of Me, Looking at Me, and In the Name of the Father, the Daughter and the Holy Spirits: Remembering Roberto Rossellini. Between movie and film making projects, she lectures at performing arts centers throughout the United States and Canada.

About Andy Byers

Andy Byers is a production and costume designer currently living in Brooklyn, NY. For the past five years he has worked alongside producer and art director Rick Gilbert making a number of short films and commercials including Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno series. These films have led to a number of art exhibitions, including installations at the Berlin Film Festival and the Royal Ontario Museum. Most recently he was invited by the Wichita State University Ulrich Museum to create a series of costumes based on works present in their new exhibit “Art of Our Time”. In addition to his work in film he also owns and runs a company that produces props and prototypes for both window display and print whose clients include many major retailers.

Byers received his MFA in 2005 at the Ohio State University in ceramics and a BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute.

About Rick Gilbert

Rick Gilbert is a freelance producer, production designer & art director with over fifteen years of experience in feature film, television, commercials, music videos, print and stop-motion animation. He has designed and art directed films which have screened at film festivals, museums and cinematheques all over the world including: Sundance, Tribeca, Venice, Toronto, Rotterdam, Berlin, MOMA, Sao Paulo and Pusan, South Korea. He has worked with many talented directors and cinematographers including: Isabella Rossellini, Todd Solondz, Paul Mazursky, Guy Maddin, James Franco, Deepha Mehta, Jeremy Podeswa, Norman Jewison and Academy Award nominated cinematographer, Ed Lachman.

Gilbert produced and art directed the wildly successful series of short films, Green Porno, written, created by and starring Isabella Rossellini for the Sundance Channel. The films screened at the Sundance, Berlin, Hong Kong, Tribeca, Pocket Film Festival (Paris), Sydney (Audience Award Winner) and Hot Docs Film Festivals, among others in 2008. Gilbert is presently in post production on Rossellini’s ten short films: Seduce Me for Sundance Channel and also prepping an hour special by Rossellini for Planet Green, entitled Manhattan Beasts.

Gilbert is a graduate of the Media Arts program at Ryerson University in Toronto and Television Production at Red River College in Winnipeg.

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