(Rebecca Shatwell, Director, AV Festival and Alix Collingwood, Curator, mima on James Benning, Cyprien Gaillard and John Gerrard)
Join us in Middlesbrough for curator-led tours of three solo exhibitions that are part of AV Festival 12, the biennial international festival of art, technology, music and film. As well as offering background information about the individual artists and works featured at the galleries, the event will be an opportunity to consider some of the issues around collecting film and media art.
Starting at the recently opened Platform A Gallery, on Middlesbrough station, we will see James Benning: Milwaukee/Duisburg, an exhibition of work by one of the most important figures in American avant-garde film. The installation brings together two 31-minute films, shot almost 40 years apart in former industrial zones. In 1971 Benning made Time and a Half including a 14-second shot of a working class man leaving a Milwaukee factory, which, in 2010, he slowed down 133 times, to stretch the 14 seconds of footage to 31 minutes. In 2009, he filmed trains at the HKL Steelworks in Duisburg collecting slag and pig iron, the shot is 31 minutes in real time. Seen side by side, the works become a meditation on American industry.
At mima, we will visit exhibitions by two celebrate international film and media artists.
First, the largest UK exhibition to date of work by award-winning French artist Cyprien Gaillard. Winner of the 2011 National Gallery Prize for Young Art, Berlin and the 2010 Marcel Duchamp Prize, Paris, Gaillard’s work was included in last year’s Venice Biennale as well as in a solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. The exhibition at mima includes two films that show contemporary architecture as a modern ruin on the verge of being taken over by nature. Real Remnants of Fictive Wars (Part V) and Cities of Gold and Mirrors.
Also at mima is the UK premiere of two recent works by Irish artist, John Gerrard, who is considered one of the most innovative artists working today. His work was featured at last year’s Manchester International Festival and he has recently had solo exhibition in Perth, Derry and Madrid. The two works at mima are Cuban School (Community 5th of October) 2010 and Cuban School (Sancti Spiritu) 2011. These are meticulous slow-moving virtual portraits of schools constructed in the 1960s Cuban countryside that are now decaying functional ruins. Both works are infinite in duration based on a continuous real-time 365-day solar cycle, and powerfully mark the melancholic demise of a political vision.
For more information see www.avfestival.co.uk / www.visitmima.com / www.platformagallery.net
This event is part of a series of events programmed by the Contemporary Art Society in the North East. Membership costs £50 per year / £25 for students.
If you are not yet a member and would like to join, or to receive further information about the organisation and its activities, please contact Rebecca Morrill at email@example.com or call 07815 830 182.