It’s not often that rap, conceptual art and rare books come together in the one place at the same time, but when they do, that right there is the nodal point where you’ll find Danny Sangra and a movie camera.
And that’s the basis of Danny’s latest short film, Rabbit Holes, a collaboration with Queens rapper SHIRT. SHIRT gets on his mobile to a variety of New York businesses from his room at the Standard, High Line in New York, speaking only in short rhymes that he wrote and came up with on the spot. He tries ordering pizza, booking a ride to the airport, getting a mechanic to look at his car, all to general bewilderment, though more patience that you might expect from New Yorkers. Most of the time, anyway. In part, this is a metaphor for SHIRT’s own experience of often being misunderstood as he makes his way through life. Finally, he hits pay dirt when trying to track down reading matter from Good Lookin’ Books. He even gets a rhyme shot back at him. Someone speaks his language.
Danny has long been an admirer of SHIRT, who was originally known as T-Shirt, because he designs and makes the things, until his friends shortened it to just SHIRT. He’s a rapper unusual in many ways, including taking inspiration from conceptual artists like Marcel Duchamp and John Baldessari. SHIRT’s no dilettante either – here’s another rare thing – he’s a high school drop-out who also happens to be completing a Master’s in Fine Art at university in Europe.