Isabel Rosario Cooper: A Work in Four Parts

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Appearance of Isabel Rosario Cooper, 2007-09 Still From A 16 Mm Film 10:10 Minutes © Courtesy of the Artist and Thomas Solomon Gallery@Cottage Home
Isabel Rosario Cooper: A Work in Four Parts

410 Cottage Home Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
February 14th, 2010 - March 14th, 2010

Wednesday- Saturday, 12-6pm
film, hollywood


Thomas Solomon Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Los Angeles artist MILJOHN RUPERTO.  This is Ruperto’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, and his Los Angeles debut.  The exhibition opens on Saturday, February 13, 2010 with a reception for the artist from 6 to 8 PM.

"Isabel Rosario Cooper, an actress, was born in the Philippines of Filipino and Scottish ancestry. She was famous as the first recipient of an on-screen kiss in a Filipino movie. When she was sixteen years old she met US General Douglas MacArthur and became his mistress. He arranged for her to follow him to Washington DC.  While serving as Army Chief of Staff in the 1930s, MacArthur filed a libel action against a journalist on The Washington Post, Drew Pearson. When Pearson add ed Cooper to his list of witnesses to be deposed, MacArthur dropped the suit. MacArthur subsequently paid Cooper $15,000 to leave Washington, the money allegedly delivered by his aide, Dwight Eisenhower.  Cooper never returned to the Philippines; she died due to suicide in 1960, her occupation listed as 'freelance actress'."
- from Wikipedia

Isabel Rosario Cooper is a peripheral figure in American history, as well as in Hollywood, where she worked as an extra for many years.  The Isabel Rosario Cooper project is an effort to bring Cooper from the periphery into the center.  The project comprises four parts, each utilizing a different strategy toward this goal.  The first is a collection of all the clips in which she appeared during her Hollywood career.  The clips are digitally manipulated to blur out everything except for Cooper, and transferred to 16mm film.  The second is a cinematic haunting: a ghost appears from the shadows to sing a song about longing, and then fades back into the shadows of a corridor.  The third part is an original screenplay and a fictionalized account of several months in Cooper’s life.  The screenplay is loosely based on Cooper’s biography and is written in a 1930s romantic screwball comedy style.  The fourth part is a cinematic reconstruction of a day in the life of Isabel Rosario Cooper, during the time she lived in the Chastleton Hotel, in Washington, D.C., in the early thirties. This last part is shown in HD video.

Miljohn Ruperto was born in Manila, Philippines.  He was educated at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut (MFA 2002) and University of California, Berkeley, California. (BA 1999).  Recent exhibitions include Topaz, Martin Asbæk Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark (2009); Art Multiple 2008, Ke Center for Contemporary Arts, Shanghai, China (2008) and The California Files: Re-Viewing Side Effects of Cultural Memory, Wattis Institute, California College of Arts, San Francisco (2007).  Ruperto was included in Migration Addicts, Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Shenzhen, China, and Migration Addicts, Collateral Events, Venice Biennale (2007).  Ruperto lives and works in Los Angeles, California.