On the occasion of Robert Wilson’s 70th birthday, last October, the multitalented, often underappreciated, largely misunderstood artist generated a flurry of activity. His Threepenny Opera was performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music that same month, and his hyperreal video portrait of dancer Roberto Bolle debuted at New York’s Center548 last winter. There was a show at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York devoted to Wilson’s performance pieces at his loft between 1967 and 1975, and a new film about the artist by Sacha Goldman, Rememberemember. Wilson’s Waco-Watermill- World, recently premiered at ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Meanwhile, helping to sum up the complicated man is Robert Wilson from Within, a profusely illustrated book edited by literary scholar Margery Arent Safir. Her quirky compilation is made up of some 25 contributions in the form of essays, interviews, and creative exercises. Among the writers are such familiar cultural dignitaries as Marina Abramovic, Philip Glass, Rufus Wainwright, and John Rockwell, as well as Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian and actress Isabelle Huppert.
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