Article in Marie Claire, November 11, 2019
The beauty of the provocation of Anton Yelchin on exhibition in Rome
The beauty of provocation is in the cinema and in Rome with Anton Yelchin. A film full of love and a photographic exhibition full of the vitality that inspires artists like him, for those struggling with illness and disability Beauty is always provocation in this crazy world, full of pain. The vitality of Anton Yelchin, without taboo, shows precious fragments that are a reflection of that which we do not often want to show to others, showing everything from different perspectives. Looking deep inside himself while also looking from behind a mask, the actor and director of an existence interrupted too soon, leaves us breathless, like the cystic fibrosis that did not stop him from exploring the intensity of life in a few decades, that even further did not stop him from making his spiritual testament in a photographic exhibition and a movie full of love, ready to make everyone shine like diamonds, while opening up new cultural perspectives even here in Rome. Anton Yelchin died in absurd circumstances at 27, after acting in almost seventy films, while also using music and photography to explore the less light and other vibrant sides of his existence. Each photograph in Provocative Beauty, just inaugurated with its European premier in the sumptuous salons of the Spazio Field in Palazzo Brancaccio in Rome (open until 30 November 2019, 11 am-7pm, every day with free admission), reopens the historic residence of the Brancaccio princes to the visual languages of its new programming and exhibition vocation (operational in 2020).
At the same time, the documentary film Love, Antosha, screened in the Ex Caserma Guido Reni (in front of the Maxxi Museum), also enriched the second edition of the Videocittà Vision Festival 2019. The vital mission of the film, of the photo exhibition and of the book that collects many pieces in the pages of Anton Yelchin's In Case of Fire (Cash Machine / FatherSons Press / Lurker LTD / Anton Yelchin, 2019), is carried out by the Anton Yelchin Foundation, supporting the efforts and projects of artists who have to deal with disabilities and debilitating diseases, just like Anton.
Every effort of the foundation, founded after the tragic death of this child prodigy, hit by the car in the driveway of his Los Angeles home on June 19, 2016, aims to best preserve the artistic and living legacy of the young actor, photographer and musician. Dead while he was planning his first film as a director. Born Anton (Viktorovich) Yelchin, in Soviet Russia of 1989 to a pair of ice skaters of Jewish origin, raised in the city of Angels and of Hollywood dreams, taking his first role in an independent film, at nine years old. Seventy of them followed, with roles ranging from the fresh meat vendor Zack Mazursky in Alpha Dog by Nick Cassavetes, to Kyle Reese which goes back to the origin story of McG's Terminator Salvation, continuing to the unforgettable Pavel Chekov of the three movie reboot of the science fiction franchise Star Trek, even to the point of pushing JJ Abrams not to look for a replacement for his role.
Love, Antosha directed by Garret Price, is touring the world and film festivals, acclaimed since the premier at the Sundance Film Festival, for the emotional and lively portrait of the young man and eclectic artist. The protagonist of letters and diaries, photographs and films, family videos of the little enchanter dancing in love with his mother, pierce the screen, along with the most heartfelt testimonies of relatives, friends, colleagues and characters in his entourage.
His parents Viktor and Irina, along with Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Simon Pegg, with Kristen Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence, J.J. Abrams and Jodie Foster, Willem Dafoe, the great Martin Landau or a narrator like Nicolas Cage (at his best). The closest and most sensitive to the face of a little angel who fought every day with the demons of a dangerous disease. Intrigued by everything he finds out about himself and others, in every spotlight and in the shadows that light up the Los Angeles underground scene and the Van Nuys sex clubs.
A perhaps less known but very important side of Anton Yelchin, the absolute protagonist, is seen in the selection of the over fifty photographs for the Italian exhibition in the halls of the Spazio Field, curated by Clayton Calvert and Alessio de’Navasques, as a tour of the complexity of his inner universe. Saturated, overexposed, out of focus, like the reflection of every spectator he welcomes.
Burned with ardor that knows no limits and even looks death in the face. Transgressive and sublime as the beauty of the ephemeral, the life that escapes, the love that does not die, like Anton’s daily odyssey that was not limited to coughing, but still could not stop him. In a similar way, it will help artists suffering from disabilities and debilitating diseases, who are supported by the association that bears Anton’s name and raises funds and awareness by spreading the light and shadow of his courageous lifestyle. To contribute, just host or share the exhibition and the film, buy the book and the photographs. This is a hymn to vitality that is good for everyone!