Alex Da Corte & Jørgen Leth

Alex Da Corte & Jørgen Leth

Eminem and Warhol

Two American icons portrayed eating. Young Alex Da Corte, who impersonated Eminem for a year, was inspired by film director Jørgen Leth, who made an iconic scene with Andy Warhol. Here they meet on stage to talk about the stunning parallels.

‘Andy Warhol Eating a Hamburger’ was originally produced for Jørgen Leth’s documentary film ‘66 Scenes From America’ (1982). Warhol – a hugely influential and important figure on the 1960’s art scene – was the young director’s hero: “I was inspired by him. We considered him an icon, an inspiration, a mentor also.” But Leth wanted to make a positive portrait of America and simply knocked on The Factory’s door to ask his hero to participate in the film. Warhol agreed, perhaps because, as Leth explains, “it was a pure Warhol scene – eating a hamburger, that’s him!”

The film of Warhol was a massive inspiration for Alex Da Corte when he was introduced to it in art school: “I think this is the only portrait that exists of Andy Warhol – to watch someone eat is to see someone at their most vulnerable and basic state. It’s like watching someone breathe,” says Da Corte about the portrait. Leth agrees: “For me, it is a very dramatic scene. It seems very simple but it’s very dramatic.”

In 2013 Alex Da Corte paraphrased Jørgen Leth’s Warhol-scene in ‘TRUƎ LIFƎ’. It shows Da Corte dressed up as the rap musician Eminem eating a bowl of cereal. Seeing it for the first time, Leth is impressed. He compliments Da Corte calling his work very deep: “I’m proud of having inspired you to do that scene.” ‘TRUƎ LIFƎ’ was made when Da Corte spent one year living as Eminem, known for being a misogynist and a homophobe. “I thought: Can I adopt his persona to better understand him? Perhaps he’s just a misunderstood character, like Warhol was … I felt the best way to understand him was to live as he would.”

Alex Da Corte (b. 1981 in New Jersey) is an American artist who lived in Venezuela until he was eight and now lives and works in Philadelphia. Da Corte received his BFA from the University of the Arts and his MFA from Yale University in 2010. He has had solo shows and presentations at prominent venues such as the Mass MoCA, Massachusetts, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Carl Kostyal, Stockholm and David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen. Moreover, his work has been shown at MoMA PS1 and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. For more about Alex Da Corte see: http://alexdacorte.com/

Jørgen Leth (b. 1937) is a Danish poet, writer and film director, who is considered among the leading figures in experimental documentary filmmaking. He has made more than 40 films, among which he is particularly noted for ‘The Perfect Human’ (1967) (‘Det perfekte menneske’), ‘66 Scenes from America’ (1981) (‘66 scener fra Amerika’) and ‘The Five Obstructions’ (2003) (‘De fem benspænd’) made in collaboration with film director Lars von Trier.

Jørgen Leth and Alex Da Corte were interviewed by Christian Lund at the Art Alive festival at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark in May 2016.

Camera: Kris Tait, Klaus Elmer & Rasmus Quistgaard
Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2016

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • TAL R :

    Shortly before he turned fifty, we had the unique pleasure of spending six months with Danish artist Tal R, while he was in the process of making his grand series of nine enormous railcar-paintings, ‘Habakuk’. Watch the intimate and biographical film.

  • Jonathan Monk

    Show Me Your Phone

    British artist Jonathan Monk agreed to let us have a glimpse into his phone. Watch him as he shows us content ranging from photos of Starbucks cups with alternative names on them, to a video of a slightly bigger copy of his nose.

  • Mark Leckey

    This Strange Place In Between

    “Technology has put us in this strange place where we’re never fully present.” Experience Turner Prize-winning Mark Leckey in the midst of his absorbing installation, which is a replication of the ramps underneath his childhood bridge.

  • Jonas Gardell

    Outraged and Upset

    “We didn’t do anything because that was what life was like back then,” says Swedish author Jonas Gardell in this deeply moving interview about what homosexuals in Sweden had to endure during the prejudice surrounding the 1980s AIDS epidemic.

  • Peter Land

    Self-Portrait as a Homeless

    “It’s a little like rehearsing death to see oneself lying there like this.” Watch Danish artist Peter Land discuss his powerful surreal piece, which features a lifelike one-to-one cast of himself as a homeless wearing his own clothes.

  • Mette Winckelmann

    Woman to Woman

    ”You must evaluate whether the system you’re part of could be effectuated differently.” Meet artist Mette Winckelmann, who believes that abstract painting communicates deeper than language, and explore her visual take on gender politics.

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Adam Caruso

    Novelty is nonsense

    "The European city is one of the great human inventions!” Adam Caruso advocates building with a deep sense of history and tradition. Meet the architect behind the award-winning Tate Britain conversion and numerous Gagosian galleries.

  • Thomas Hirschhorn

    A World of Collage

    Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn juxtaposes pixelated images from the media. His works are not about technology, says the artist: “I try to give form to what I can’t accept: that someone else can decide for me what I should do, see or think.”

  • Jonathan Safran Foer

    On Donald Trump

    Jonathan Safran Foer, star of American literature, offers interesting views on America’s new president and the consequences Trump will have on American culture. "The place for literature may be even more important than before," he says.

  • Dorte Mandrup

    Where Place Meets Sculpture

    Rising from the landscape in a place rich with materiality and history sits architect Dorte Mandrup’s new Wadden Sea Centre. Meet the renowned architect and see a building were “everything comes together.”