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Michal Rovner: Fields - site Concorde at Jeu de Paume
Michal Rovner, The Well (detail), 2004. Courtesy PaceWildenstein, New York © Michal Rovner, ADAGP, Paris 2005. Installation vidéo.

PARIS, FRANCE.-The Jeu de Paume, Paris, will present a new exhibition entitled Fields by Michal Rovner from October 3, 2005 through January 8, 2005. Fields, Rovner’s first museum exhibition in France, will open at the same time the 2005 Festival d’Automne, the annual citywide arts celebration, features Fields of Fire, a new collaboration between Michal Rovner and German composer Heiner Goebbels. Fields of Fire was commissioned specifically for the festival.

Fields consists of 18 works created over the past fifteen years, beginning with Rovner’s earliest uses of the moving images will be projected in the museum’s auditorium. Among these will be the 1993 film, Border, “a fictional documentary”, as she refers to it, shot along the Israeli-Lebanese border.

The exhibition will also include Rovner’s well-known video installation, Time Left, first seen in Michal Rovner: The Space Between, a 2002 mid-career retrospective held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Data Zone, a series of works which combined sculpture and video and were featured in Against Order? Against Disorder?, the acclaimed solo exhibition in the Israeli Pavilion at the 50th International Art Exhibition of the 2003 Venice Biennale, have been brought together again for the first time since that exhibit. More recent large scale installations, such as Tablets and The Well have also been loaned to the exhibition.

In addition to these works, Rovner has collaborated with Heiner Goebbels, the acclaimed composer, to create a major new installation; Fields of Fire. In association with the Festival d'Automne à Paris, the Jeu de Paume has commissioned this work which stems from the artists 2004 journey across Central Asia. At her final stop on that journey, a remote oil drilling camp in Kazakhstan, she found and filmed the elements from which she generated this work.

Occupying its own room on the 1st floor of the museum, Fields of Fire represents a new direction for Rovner. Over the past decade, the artist has developed a kind of vocabulary using images of human form and motion. Using these elements she composes her work, much the way an author uses words and phrases to compose prose or verse. These assemblies coalesce to reveal the most fundamental human themes, giving them tangible form even as the subjects themselves dissolve toward the edge of abstraction.

Fields of Fire demonstrates the same facility with a subject which itself hovers between various states of animation and abstraction; fire. In the work, Rovner harnesses the ethereal, yet voracious nature of her subject to create a new kind of landscape. As the image changes, alternatively recalling the fluid ink brush of Soong and T’ang dynasty landscapes and the hyperkinetic pen of the seismograph, the notion of landscape is transformed from the symbol of constancy to an engine of metamorphosis.

Michal Rovner (b. 1957, Israel) studied cinema, television, and philosophy at Tel-Aviv University and received a B.F.A. in photography and art at the Bezalel Academy. In 1978 she co-founded Tel Aviv’s Camera Obscura Art School for studies in photography, video, cinema, and computer art. Ten years later, she moved to New York City.

Some of many Rovner’s video installations include Overhang (2000), a site-specific installation at the Chase Manhattan Bank on Park Avenue in New York City; Overhanging (1999) at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Mutual Interest (1997) at the Tate Gallery, London, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and P.S.1, New York (1999). Her films have been screened internationally at several museums. Notes (2001), a collaboration with composer Philip Glass, was screened at the Lincoln Center Festival 2001, New York and the Barbican Theater, London. Rovner’s film Border (1997) premiered at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and received over a dozen subsequent screenings at major international venues including the Tate Gallery, London; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Michal Rovner’s work is in several permanent collections worldwide including: The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.

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