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Swiss Institute explores the role that art plays in narrative film and television
Albert Whitlock, Museen Ze Berlin Matte Painting, Torn Curtain, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Universal Pictures, 1966.


NEW YORK, NY.- Recasting the gallery as a set for dramatic scenes, FADE IN: INT. ART GALLERY – DAY explores the role that art plays in narrative film and television. FADE IN features the work of 25 artists and considers a history of art as seen in classic movies, soap operas, science fiction, pornography and musicals. These works have been sourced, reproduced and created in response to artworks that have been made to appear on-screen, whether as props, set dressings, plot devices, or character cues.

The nature of the exhibition is such that sculptures, paintings and installations transition from prop to image to art object, staging an enquiry into whether these fictional depictions in mass media ultimately have greater influence in defining a collective understanding of art than art itself does. Certain preoccupations with artworks are established early on in cinematic history: the preciousness of art objects anchors their roles as plot drivers, and anxieties intensify regarding the vitality of artworks and their perceived abilities to wield power over viewers or to capture spirits. Such themes were famously explored in the 1945 film adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, from which Cindy Sherman has sourced the original portrait painted for the production. Across genres, the character of the artist is habitually portrayed as a volatile, mercurial figure with license to subvert societal norms, who is thereby ridiculed, feared and revered. From many such narratives, FADE IN draws out the art objects, granting them the status only previously achieved on-screen, whilst pointing to moments in which one form of media wrangles with the power of another.

The exhibition includes new commissions from Danai Anesiadou, Michael Bell-Smith, Dora Budor, Heman Chong, Mike Cooter, Brice Dellsperger, Mathis Gasser, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Bertrand Lavier, Christian Marclay, Rodrigo Matheus, Carissa Rodriguez and Amie Siegel, as well as newly commissioned performances and public programs from Alex Israel, Casey Jane-Ellison and Thirteen Black Cats. Source material ranges widely from The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Teorema (1968) through 9 ½ Weeks (1986) and The Princess Diaries (2001), to the The Twilight Zone (1959-64), Melrose Place (1992-99) and The X-Files (1993-2002).





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