SALTS presents “The Night Holds Terror”, an exhibition by Emanuel Röhss, a show that forms a is part in the artist’s current examination of the relationship between The Ennis House in Los Angeles (Frank Frank Lloyd Wright, 1924), and the entertainment industry, most notably Hollywood motion pictures. the work In the exhibition is appropriating it’s form from the language movie set fabrication, yet neither content nor layout of the show are direct adaptations of the original house or any of the films related to it. The installation is composed after a new narrative that the artist developed from a range of the stories assembled by trolling the Ennis House world.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s sources of inspiration, the main Mayan temple in Uxmal, Mexico, and his progressive rational for modern architecture, where the initial seeds that the house grew from. Yet if some of these references still remain present in the uninhabitable and constantly decaying house to this day, movie productions has been its main occupant and turned it into a notorious shape shifter. Sic-fi apartment, time machine, love nest, cyborg battlefield, dandy home, and headquarters for the Yakuza mob; the imaginativeness of the godfather of American modernism became the prime location for Hollywoodized domesticity.
Drawing from films as The Day of the Locust (John Schlesinger 1975) and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), T3 and Michael Jacksons music video Why (1996) and the video games Minecraft and Half Life 2, Helmut Newtons Playboy shoot of Barbara Leigh (1990) as well as the TV show Invitation to Love within Lynch’s Twin Peaks (1992), to only mention a few, the artist has shaped a narrative using characters, elements and environments that are either literal appropriations or amalgamations of sources. Featuring himself and his girlfriend as protagonists in the story where a break-in at the House is enacted, with the intention to dig out it’s truth, they’re faced with a number of challenges that they’ve got to overcome to transcend its innermost cave and find out it’s real secrets…
And It is predominantly this mediation of the house in the various contexts that is the project’s focal point. The fictional world of Hollywood has given a vast audience access to this virtual being; the building isn’t anymore just a shell for habitation, nor a machine to live in, but instead a living organism fueled by all the narratives and events it has served as a stage for and the characters that has passed through it. It is a House on a Haunted Hill (as in the 1959 horror movie) and it leads it’s own life, where no one inhabitant has ever managed to live for over a decade and any visitor always become affected by it’s power – which may give you joy but at night it will most certainly hold terror for you.
The Night Holds Terror is the second part in an exhibition trilogy by the artist, first mounted at Johan Berggren Gallery (Malmö, summer 2015), and subsequently SALTS to be followed by Thomas Duncan Gallery (Los Angeles, January – February 2016). The exhibitions are succeeded by an artist book, Location Scout, due to be released at the LA Art Book Fair at MOCA Los Angeles by CURA publishing in February 12-14, 2016.