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Israel Museum and Museum in San Diego Jointly Purchase Ann Lislegaard Video Installation
Crystal World (After J.G. Ballard), 2006. 2 channel 3D animation, 2 leaning screens, black and white, silent, 12min. Purchase, Barbara and Eugene Schwartz Contemporary Art Acquisition Endowment Fund. Co-purchase with The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
JERUSALEM.- The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) announced the joint acquisition of Ann Lislegaard’s Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard) (2006), a silent two-screen video installation from a trilogy of three-dimensional animations based on science fiction novels. Inspired by J.G. Ballard’s dystopian 1966 book The Crystal World, which tells of a landscape and its inhabitants slowly petrifying into crystal, the video installation depicts a surreal architectural landscape being overtaken by crystalline forms, and incorporates text from the novel. Like many of the artist’s works, Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard) investigates spatial perception and cognition and explores divergent narrative forms.

“This partnership allows Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard), a seminal new-media work, to be presented in the context of two unique collections and to be experienced by audiences both in the U.S. and in Israel,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “With this acquisition, the Israel Museum has added a second work by Ann Lislegaard to its collection, complementing her 2005 video installation Bellona (after Samuel R. Delany). Presented together in our renewed contemporary art galleries, these two works will enrich our contemporary collection by allowing for a fuller understanding of the artist’s investigations of spatial and temporal perception.”

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to partner with an international institution like the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on the acquisition of Ann Lislegaard’s video installation,” commented Dr. Hugh M. Davies, The David C. Copley Director and CEO of the MCASD. “Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard) was a major highlight of our 2009 exhibition Automatic Cities: The Architectural Imaginary in Contemporary Art and now joins our contemporary collection as a key new media artwork.”

Set in a gloomy black and white landscape with features reflecting the work of 20th century architects Bruno Taut, Lina Bo Bardi, and Oscar Niemeyer, and artists Robert Smithson and Eva Hesse, Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard) presents a world in flux. Viewers watch as a recognizable room splinters and multiplies, water pierces through walls, and furniture drifts by, leaving behind a destabilized, labyrinthine space filled with a blinding light that obscures discernable forms and spatial distinctions. The video installation, first shown at the Sao Paolo Biennale in 2006, is displayed on two screens running in 5:39-minute and 6:23-minute loops. The loops are played deliberately out of synch, creating the possibility for multiple narrative experiences. The installations Bellona (after Samuel R. Delany) (2005), currently in the collection of the Israel Museum, and Left Hand of Darkness (after Ursula K. Le Guin) (2008) complete Lislegaard’s trilogy of three-dimensional animations inspired by literary works.

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