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Michael Stipe and Dominic DeJoseph

We All Go Back To Where We Belong, John

June 2017 – August 2017

On the High Line at 14th Street

June 21 – August 2, 2017
Daily beginning at 7 PM

This summer, 12 leading non-profit and alternative art spaces in New York co-host a city-wide exhibition of the work of pioneering artist John Giorno, curated by Ugo Rondinone. As part of the festival, High Line Art presents a video portrait in the style of Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests by Michael Stipe and Dominic DeJoseph and starring John Giorno.

In 2011, Michael Stipe and Dominic DeJoseph directed two video pieces for this song, one with Kirsten Dunst and another with Giorno. Upon their release, these stark, simple portraits became the final visual representation for the band R.E.M.

Stipe explains the creation of the videos: “I first met John Giorno in the mid-1990s at a small party in Kansas for his great friend William Burroughs. He was easily one of the most charismatic and physically stunning men I had ever had the pleasure to meet. Many years later, in New York, I went to the opening of Andy Warhol: Screen Tests at the Museum of Modern Art. I saw John standing alone, quietly, in the middle of a crowded room. I approached him, we spoke, he hugged me, and that was that. In 2011, my band R.E.M. was writing the last three songs we would ever record—I was struggling to finish the lyrics—and I woke up one night in the middle of a dream. In the dream I had approached John and my neighbor, the actress Kirsten Dunst, and asked them each if they would participate in a video piece to accompany the song. Without hesitation they both said yes. In We All Go Back To Where We Belong, John, I asked John to sit quietly for the length of the song. I hit ‘record’ on the video camera, and surprised him by singing the song a cappella as we filmed. His reaction is just what I had hoped for—surprise, delight, embarrassment, a calm amusement—exactly like my dream. The song has been performed three times—once for John, once for Kirsten and once at Carnegie Hall.”

Image: Michael Stipe & Dominic DeJoseph, We All Go Back To Where We Belong, John, 2011 (still). Courtesy of the artists.


Major support for High Line Art comes from Donald R. Mullen, Jr. and The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston. Additional funding is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

“Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno” is made possible in part by public funds from Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council. The I ♥ John Giorno organizing committee gratefully acknowledges generous support from Van Cleef & Arpels, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and LUMA Foundation. Thanks to Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels, London, New York and Paris; Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York; Esther Schipper, Berlin; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, New York and Zürich; Gladstone Gallery, Brussels and New York; Galerie Kamel Mennour, London and Paris; Kukje Gallery, Seoul; and Sadie Coles, London for production support. Additional thanks to Ophelia and Bill Rudin as well as the General Consulate of Switzerland in New York for their gracious contribution, and to agnès b. for in kind support.