A man on a motorbike is capable of showing all of the limits of his prison island in a quarter of an hour. Charlemagne Palestine travels the perimeter of the French island of St. Pierre, on the coast of Newfoundland, on the back of a motorcycle and with a primitive video camera attached to his body. During his journey, we incessantly hear his particular Island song: the engine of his attempted flight combined with a chorus that repeats the phrase “gotta get outta here”. In the second Island monologue, his soliloquy is on foot and lost in the fog. It is a full chronicle of a confinement.
(New York, 1947)
Composer, performer and visual artist, he is one of the greatest representatives of musical minimalism. His experimental quest, his appreciation of radical repetitiveness and his performance concept of musical fact make him one of the most unclassifiable figures in North American avant-garde. In the 1970s, he made a series of videos in which he used movement and sound to project his inner feelings. They are extremely personal and violent works, filmed with camera in hand, in search of a physical and mental catharsis. In the 1980s, he moved to Europe and left his musical career on one side to devote himself to his activities as a painter, sculptor, visual creator and performer. He returned to music in the 1990s.