Andy Warhol´s Exploding Plastic Inevitable

Ronald Nameth

Ronald Nameth, photographer and filmmaker made extensive recordings of Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable during performances in Chicago in June 1966. These are now the most comprehensive color recordings of Warhol's EPI. Nameth photographed in both color and black–and-white film during one week of performances by Warhol’s troupe, twice each evening.

In his book EXPANDED CINEMA, Gene Youngblood comments on Nameth's imagery:

"The most striking aspect of Nameth’s work is his use of the freeze-frame to generate a sense of timelessness. Stop-motion is literally the death of the image: we are instantly cut off from the illusion of cinematic life – the immediacy of motion – and the image suddenly is relegated to the motionless past, leaving in its place a pervading aura of melancholy. Chris Marker’s La Jeté, Peter Goldman’s Echoes of Silence, and Trauffaut’s 400 Blows are memorable for the kind of stop-frame work that Nameth raises to quintessential beauty.

The final shots of Gerard Malanga tossing his head in slow motion and freezing in several positions create a ghostlike atmosphere, a timeless and ethereal mood that lingers and haunts long after the images fade.

Nameth does to cinema what the Beatles do with music: his film is dense, compact, yet somehow fluid and light. It is extremely heavy, extremely fast, yet airy and poetic, a mosaic, a tapestry, a mandala that sucks you into its whirling maelstrom."


Richard Whitehall, writing in the LA Free Press, wrote:


“The best film the one Ronald Nameth made from Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable when that inter-media show was playing Poor Richard's in Chicago.

I say 'from' rather than 'of' advisedly, since Nameth's ...exists independently as a work of art in the way that most screen adaptations, regardless of their origins, do not.

As a jangle and concord of sound and image, a poetic expression of all the arts of white magick, of the cinema of imagery built around the strobe-light rather than the arc, it is something wonderful and exciting.