PITTSBURGH, PA.- Carnegie Museum of Art
presents Forum 65: Jones, Koester, Nashashibi/Skaer: Reanimation, two films and a digital projection featuring silent, hypnotic loops that bring to life different objects, images, and history, casting each in a new light.
The darkened Forum Gallery will be animated by three artists works that draw on varied cultural artifacts: archival photography from the Great Depression (Punctured by William E. Jones), a centuries-old Italian folk dance originally created as a cure for poisonous spider bites (Tarantism by Joachim Koester), and artworks on display in a museum (Flash in the Metropolitan by Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer). In each, the artist employs subtly choreographed movements to expose and alter cultural, perceptual, and historical circumstances. Activated by the basic yet infinitely mutable ability of film and video to allow action to unfold over time, each work creates a complex interplay between stillness and movement, agitation and contemplation, and darkness and light.
The exhibition features artists William E. Jones (b. 1962, Canton, OH, lives in Los Angeles), Joachim Koester (b. 1962, Copenhagen, Denmark, lives in Brooklyn, New York and Copenhagen), and collaborating artists Rosalind Nashashibi (b. 1973, Croydon, UK, lives in London) and Lucy Skaer (b. 1975, Cambridge, UK, lives in Glasgow and London). None of these artists has exhibited at Carnegie Museum of Art before. Forum 65 also includes an opening night film screening of recent works by each artist, two of which will receive their United States debut. This is the first exhibition at Carnegie Museum of Art organized by associate curator of contemporary art Dan Byers, who joined the museum in May 2009.
Altering cultural, perceptual, and historical circumstances
In Punctured, William E. Jones sequences 100 photographs shot for the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression that were rejected by punching a hole through each negative. A number of these rejected (or killed) images are among the negatives the Library of Congress has scanned and made available on their Web site, Jones has animated the killed photographs by stringing the images together, beginning each frame at the black hole of the photograph and then slowly zooming out, revealing the surrounding image before moving onto the next frame of blackness and exposing a new Depression-era scene. Joachim Koesters film Tarantism takes its starting point from the spastic, possessed condition known as tarantism and the exorcism dance meant to cure the effects of the tarantulas bite. A group of dancers individually interpret this state of reverie with hypnotic, frenzied results. In Flash in the Metropolitan, Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer navigate darkened galleries and film objects in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, capturing them with rhythmic flashes of illumination. Ancient artifacts are animated by alternating moments of absence with moments of exposure, thus triggering questions about the permanence of memory and culture.