Wannabe Artist James Franco Teams Up With Daniel Arsham

The latest dispatch from the Franco files.

The artist Daniel Arsham (right) and actor James Franco on set Photo: courtesy James Law

Artist Daniel Arsham has teamed up with actor, art enthusiast, and wannabe renaissance man James Franco for the second installment of his nine-part series, Future Relic

The series, which the Miami-born New York-based artist has been working on since December this past year, illustrates Arsham’s meditations for the future and our planet’s imminent destruction. Shot in film noir style, Future Relic 02 features Franco as a laboratory worker who meticulously examines, catalogs, and subsequently destroys quotidian objects such as telephones and cameras. The nine-minute clip, which was shot over four days in Arsham’s Brooklyn studio, includes some of the artist’s own sculptural works as well as a silver space suit designed by up-and-coming New York fashion label Public School.

The short film follows on the heels of Arsham’s debut video Future Relic 01, for which he collaborated with hip-hop artist Swizz Beatz and fashion designer Richard Chai. It seems Franco, known for his myriad artistic collaborations, however dilettantish, was a natural choice for the part. “I try to look at the world as a repository of antiquated artifacts and experiences,” he said, “all of them worth preserving.”

It’s been a busy year for Franco. His exhibition “New Film Stills” opened at Pace Gallery earlier this year and was universally panned (see “Why James Franco’s Cindy Sherman Exhibition Is Not Just Bad But Offensive“); he released a memoir Hollywood Dreaming: Stories, Pictures and Poems (see “James Franco’s New Memoir Is Full of Instagram Photos”); his documentary on the history of Saturday Night Live was released on Hulu; and his web series Making a Scene with James Franco debuted on AOL. And that’s not to mention his other forays in the art world, like his reading Walt Whitman poems with artist and musician Patti Smith to kick off this summer’s “Rockways!” public art festival.


Daniel Arsham Molds Farrell Photo: courtesy culturedmag.com

Daniel Arsham Molds Pharrell
Photo: courtesy culturedmag.com

Daniel Arsham, for his part, isn’t new to celebrity collaborations. Earlier this year the artist joined forces with pop star Pharrell Williams, creating a plaster cast of the singer for the Paris exhibition “Girl,” which was curated by Pharrell himself (see “Pharrell Curating New Perrotin Show“).

Future Relic 02 can be viewed below, but eager fans will have to wait until the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival to watch the full nine-part series.

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