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Saint Louis Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts Partner in Aitken Video
Doug Aitken, American, born 1968; still from migration (empire)–linear version, 2008; single channel video, duration: 24 minutes, 28 seconds; Lent by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The William Hood Dunwoody Fund. Image © Doug Aitken, Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Victoria-Miro Gallery, London; Regen Projects, Los Angeles.
SAINT LOUIS, MO.- The Saint Louis Art Museum and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts have collaborated to present Doug Aitken's migration (empire)–linear version, a mesmerizing video work. The 24-minute film will open in St. Louis on June 27, 2009, before moving on to its home in Minneapolis for a February 19, 2010 opening.

Prior to the MIA's presentation, the work will be on view, for free, at the Saint Louis Art Museum as part of its Century of Free Admission celebration. The museum is celebrating a Century of Free Admission with free exhibitions, programs, docent-led tours, gallery talks, and performances throughout the summer, and a month-long series of events in July.

Born in California in 1968, Aitken is known for creating exquisitely produced and engaging videos that utilize the visual richness of the medium to capture the complexity of American culture today. He is widely considered among the leading video artists of his generation. Aitken is represented by 303 Gallery in New York, as well as Galerie Eva Presenhuber,Zurich; Victoria-Miro Gallery, London; and Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

The video, migration (empire)–linear version, was featured in the 2008 exhibition Life on Mars, the 55th Carnegie International, where it was projected onto the facade of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. The piece explores the confrontation between nature and culture, past and present, the wild and the tamed, power and decline.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art, also a free-admission museum, will show Aitken's video work as part of its Until Now: 50 Years, 50 Artists (1960–2010) exhibition, on view February 19 through June 6, 2010. The work was acquired by Elizabeth Armstrong, assistant director for exhibitions and programs and curator of contemporary art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and is on loan to the St. Louis museum for the summer. Curated in St. Louis by Charlotte Eyerman, curator of modern and contemporary art, migration (empire)–linear version will be on view at the Saint Louis Art Museum in the Main Exhibition Galleries June 27 through Labor Day, September 7, 2009.

In migration (empire)–linear version, Aitken advances a rich tradition of artists exploring the history of visual culture in America. His close studies of wild North American animals, such as the bison, deer, owl, mountain lion, raccoon, fox and jackrabbits, released within the artificial habitat of desolate hotel room, yield scenes of humor—a beaver in a bathtub—as well as moments of empathy—a bison struggling within a confined space. Like many great American artworks, migration (empire)–linear version captures America's character and contradictions. It provides a meditation on America as it grows, changes, and finds its place in the 21st century.

Saint Louis Art Museum | Minneapolis Institute of Art | Doug Aitken | Galerie Eva Presenhuber | Zurich; Victoria-Miro Gallery | London; and Regen Projects | Los Angeles |

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