Leon Grodski – Great Balls of Fire 2001

Toothless, shirtless, in song and spit, a man speaks out about the bombing of the World Trade Center capturing the zeitgeist of his times. Great Balls of Fire is a beat in the rhythm of New York on September 11 and 12, 2001 according to Jimmy, a homeless man who keeps time with a cup of coins and street prophecy. To Jimmy, September 11 seemed to be just another bizarre day in a long string of absurd events in history. Jimmy wasn’t surprised by the attack – why should anyone be? In the early hours of September 11th, Leon Grodski, from the rooftop of his Williamsburg apartment, shot the second tower of the World Trade Center on fire and falling. It explores the impossibility of representing trauma from an artist’s point of view. It is also a commentary of how September 11 became mediated through the spectacle of live TV. Jimmy is another source of information in this mediated world, like a soothsayer he dispenses wisdom to passers-by. Great Balls of Fire is at once human, humorous, and deeply disturbing.

BIO: Leon Grodski de Barrera grew up in New York, Florida and Michigan. He earned his B.A. In Philosophy and Literature from Binghamton University and his M.A. in English Education from Columbia University. In 1996 he discovered Dada during his time spent living in Cologne, Germany. In 1998 he moved to Paris, France where he frequented cinemas and experienced the cafe scenery. Upon his return to New York he began working in the multimedia industry. In September, 2001 Grodski de Barrera created The Sushi Bar to join his work as a producer and as an artist. Under the title The Sushi Bar, Grodski de Barrera creates artworks, writes and produces installations and films for other artists.