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“Walkers: Hollywood Afterlives in Art and Artifact”

Nicolas Provost, Gravity, 2007, HD video, color, sound, 6 minutes 17 seconds.

“ICONS OF HOLLYWOOD have richly circulating afterlives which belie the alleged obsolescence of the medium,” writes curator Robert M. Rubin in his introduction to the catalogue for the Museum of the Moving Image’s dense and eccentric show “Walkers: Hollywood Afterlives in Art and Artifact.” It is, he declares, “A goddam zombie apocalypse.”

Or maybe the Dream Dump described in Nathanael West’s The Day of the Locust (1939)—the “Sargasso of the imagination” that his protagonist encounters slogging across a studio backlot. The notion that we’re all out there lost among the stars is not unfamiliar. Ronald Reagan and Jean Baudrillard dramatized it in the 1980s; Robert Zemeckis made it the subject of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) and Forrest Gump (1994).

At a time when TV and the DVD player have long since domesticated the movies and the Internet has normalized our lives amid the

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