PERFORMING STILL IMAGES: DAVID CLAERBOUT AND MATTHEW BUCKINGHAM
UMMA’s third year of offering dynamic and thought provoking contemporary video, film, and time-based projects that complement its collections and extend its global contemporary reach will be presented not only in the Museum’s dedicated New Media Gallery but will also animate unexpected spaces throughout the building, including the Apse.
Guest curated by Rudolf Frieling, the three exhibitions that make up the 2013–14 New Media Gallery season address performativity in contemporary art through time-based approaches by some of the most innovative artists working in the medium today. As Curator of Media Arts at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Frieling has organized numerous exhibitions, including The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now (2008) and Stage Presence: Theatricality in Art and Media (2012). Prior to his arrival at SFMOMA in 2006, Frieling held curatorial positions at the Center for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany. All but one of the works in this year’s new media installations are generous loans from SFMOMA.
The first exhibition of the series, Performing Still Images: David Claerbout and Matthew Buckingham, explores two distinct ways of translating the two-dimensional medium of photography into an immersive experience in space and time. Both artists use projected images. In Image of Absalon To Be Projected Until It Vanishes (2001), Buckingham, an American artist, displays an interest in social memory and place, while Belgian artist Claerbout’s The American Room (2009–10) focuses on suspended narratives and the role of architecture.
David Claerbout, The American Room (still), 2009-10; Single-channel HD video projection, Dolby Digital-encoded surround sound, 5.1 channels, 24:29 min.; Collection SFMOMA; © 2013 David Claerbout
The second installation of the year, Affecting the Audience: Anthony Discenza, Aurélien Froment, and Dora García, on view January 11 through April 27, 2014, emphasizes how the construction of images or effects impacts the viewer directly or psychologically. The concluding exhibition of the series, Appropriation and Collaboration: Harrell Fletcher, Miranda July, and Christian Marclay, which runs from May 3 through July 20, 2014, includes the powerful collaborative online project Learning to Love You More (2002–09) by Fletcher and July, as well as Marclay’s iconic video Telephones (1995).
“Taken together, these three exhibitions constitute a multiplicity of perspectives on what it means to construct a time-based experience of art,” said Frieling. “They address the way that the production of contemporary art exceeds the boundaries of genres and institutional frameworks, offering opportunities to review art histories as much as they produce new narratives.”
Lead support for the 2013–14 New Media Gallery season is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Provost and the Herbert W. and Susan L. Johe Endowment.