Multimedia artist Marco Brambilla’s (pictured) work is very familiar to a certain partygoing set. He’s the man behind the trippy elevator video, Civilization, that plays on the long ride to the 18th floor of the Standard hotel. “I’ve seen Marco’s work too many times going up to Boom Boom Room,” Waris Ahluwalia admitted last night a private dinner to fête the artist’s latest exhibition, RPM, at the hotel’s High Line Room and Terrace. “I know every scene and every bouncing breast.”
It almost wasn’t to be. “We originally had a lame concept for the elevators: gold bricks to convey that we were the ‘gold standard’ of hotels,” André Balazs said in a toast. The audience—which included Cecilia Dean, Marina Abramovic, Jacqueline Schnabel, Dustin Yellin, and Casey Neistat—groaned. “It was a terrible idea.”
When the lights dimmed, the guests dutifully put on red stereoscopic shades they had been given to watch the psychedelic 3-D video, featuring a continuous loop of racing clips from the Monza Grand Prix processed with archived Ferrari photos and set to the sound of roaring Formula One engines. Midway through the screening, a rowdier set spilled in. The group, including Theophilus London, had come from the OHWOW fête taking place just upstairs to check out what Brambilla had created. “I wanted to capture the feeling of euphoria and danger, which are equally present in the mental state of a driver during a race,” the artist explained. Luckily, cabs were the preferred mode of transport home.