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Artist To Rebuild Graceland In Tramway Hall

June 27, 2007 | Other
The artist Alexandre Perigot is to rebuild Graceland, the Memphis home of Elvis Presley, in the largest hall of the Tramway arts centre in Glasgow, and stage concerts inside it.

But despite its world fame and popularity as a tourist attraction, the home, built in the pillared "classical revival" style, is of modest size and can fit neatly inside one of the old tram sheds in Pollokshields.

Alexandre Perigot is to rebuild Graceland to scale, 1:1, in an art piece called Elvis House/Maison d'Elvis as part of his Pipedream exhibition.

The show opens on July 8 and runs until the beginning of August.

However, Mr Perigot's version is Graceland unplugged: the to-scale model is rendered only in scaffolding.

This will allow for the second part of the art work to take place inside it, a performance of Presley's music, and a sound and sculptural installation.

It will host The Parsonage, a Glasgow-based choir which will sing songs by Elvis, a punk band called Agaskodo Teliverek, and a music piece created especially for the Tramway by Simon Fisher Turner, who created the scores for the films of Derek Jarman and has worked with David Bowie and Brian Eno.

Yesterday Perigot, who is based in Paris but is originally from Corsica, said he had chosen to replicate Graceland to make a work which draws attention to how banal or uninteresting architecture is rendered important by its owners.

More than 500,000 people visit Graceland a year, to see where Elvis lived, and visit his grave.

"The idea came to me when I used to live and work in the Montmartre area of Paris, and I used to see tour guides take people to the houses of Pablo Picasso and Derrida (the philosopher)," he said.

"I thought: is it really enough for a famous person to have lived in this building to make it interesting?

"The buildings were really unremarkable but the crowds were drawn by the names associated with them and I was stupefied by that: you look at a building and it is nothing, but then you are told Derrida lived there and it's wow'! The star system creates a new reality.

"I visited Graceland - it is the most visited house in the world, they say - and took down its dimensions: it is an ordinary Victorian-style house, it is not that big, it's not that fantastic, but it is where Elvis lived, so it is important."

Presley purchased Graceland in early 1957, moving in with his father Vernon Presley and his mother Gladys, and died in its bathroom 20 years later.
PaulFromFrance wrote on June 27, 2007
Nice idea. With 500 000 people every year, I'm not sure it's the most visited house in the world.