ISAAC JULIEN - TEN THOUSAND WAVES
ATELIER HERMÈS, SEOUL, APRIL 29, 2011 TO JULY 17, 2011
With the support of Fondation d'entreprise Hermès, Atelier Hermès (3rd Floor, Maison Hermès Dosan Park) presents Isaac Julien's solo exhibition, Ten Thousand Waves, from April 29th to July 17th.
Ten Thousand Waves, the first exhibition of Atelier Hermès' 2011 programme, is also Isaac Julien's first solo exhibition in Korea. Julien, a world-renowned British artist, has mainly worked in film and video, and has already opened up a new dimension in video installation. Some of his work has been seen in Korea in recent years: Baltimore at the Busan Biennale 2004 and Western Union: Small Boats at the Gwangju Biennale 2008.
Julien's new 3-channel video installation Ten Thousand Waves is based on the 55-minute film of the same title that the artist worked on for four years. While it was presented as a 9-channel video installation at its world premiere at the Sydney Biennale 2010 as well as at exhibitions in Shanghai, Miami, and London, for this occasion the work has been specially rearranged as a three-screen version, to accommodate the specific space of Atelier Hermès. Mostly shot in China, Ten Thousand Waves is an artist's film that features well-known actresses such as Maggie Cheung and Zhao Tao, the impressive heroine in Jia Zhangke's 24 City. The young video artist Yang Fudong, the poet Wang Ping, and the venerable Chinese calligrapher Gong Fagen also appear on screen. In particular, Wang traveled between London and China, establishing a dialogue with Julien from the preparatory stage and created poems that are featured as voice-overs in the film.
The brief storyline of Ten Thousand Waves has three layers. The first is a Chinese legend about the goddess Mazu (1) (played by Maggie Cheung) who has a special power to guide shipwrecked sailors safely to shore. Here Julien transposes the goddess into contemporary China, where Mazu bends space and time, flying between the buzzing rush hour of Shanghai and a landscape with a calm bamboo forest and stony mountains. The second layer concerns an accident that happened recently to a group of 23 Chinese illegal immigrant workers who were gathering cockles at the seashore in England in the spring of 2005. Unaware of the seasonal high tide, they were suddenly swept away to their deaths; even their guardian Mazu was unable to save them. The third layer is based on the specific situation of early twentieth-century Shanghai, when the city was dominated by Western powers. During this time, the 1930s, Shanghai flourished as a center of the film industry. The Goddess (1934), which was produced during this period, portrays the tragic life of a woman who had no choice but to prostitute herself in order to make a living to support her children. Julien remakes the film (in which Zhao Tao plays its heroine) to evoke the atmosphere of Shanghai in the 1930s. As these three layers interweave, Ten Thousand Waves crosses the boundaries of past and present, fiction and reality, and feature film and documentary.
Scrupulously, like a surgeon wielding a scalpel, Julien dissects the film's sequences, scenes, and shots to synthesize them as a contemporary art installation of great complexity. The background sound, meticulously inserted not only as the main narration but also as additional explanation or monologue, enriches the enthralling video installation. The narrative structure intermingling Chinese culture and history as well as modern catastrophes is in keeping with Isaac's life-long subject matter. Immigrant workers rooted in post-colonialism and economic globalization were featured in his earlier work Western Union. Deliberately connecting aesthetic, social, and psychological dimensions, Julien's video installation invites the audience to experience a corporeal perception similar to floating. As viewers drift through the video projection space they confront the grave question of Western-centric cultural globalization.
In addition to the video installation work this exhibition includes four large-format photographic works derived from the film: Hotel, Maiden of Silence, Red Chamber Room, and Mazu Turning.
(1) Mazu(媽祖/天后) is a goddess of the sea traditionally worshiped in the coastal provinces of southern and central China as well as in Chinese Taipei.
3rd Floor, Maison Hermès Dosan Park
630-26 Shinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu
Recontre - Lecture avec Ange Leccia et Jean-Philippe Toussaint
Villa Médicis, Rome, Italie
Jeudi 21 avril 2011 - Grand Salon
Extraits de film alternés avec des moments de lecture. Dans le cadre du cycle de lectures. La Villa Médicis vous invite, ce printemps, à des rencontres - lectures mensuelles avec un écrivain, français ou étranger, à vous laisser envoûter par le pouvoir des mots et par des projections d'images qui accompagneront les phrases, dessinant ainsi une large définition de la littérature.
@ CCAndratx, Majorca, Spain
23.04.11 - 30.06.11
Group Show curated by Friederike Nymphius
Artists: John M Armleder, Beni Bischof, Matthias Bitzer , Sebastian Black, Martin Creed, Spencer Finch, Poul Gernes, Liam Gillick, Terry Haggerty, Jeppe Hein, Lothar Hempel, Knut Henrik Henriksen, Yago Hortal, Nathan Hylden, Imi Knoebel, Peter Kogler, Udomsak Krisanamis, Jim Lambie, Mathieu Mercier , Alan Michael, Jeremy Moon, Stefan Müller, John Nixon, Rupert Norfolk, Anselm Reyle, Ruth Root, Katja Strunz, Sofie Thorsen, Ignacio Uriarte, Richard Wright.
SPACE ODDITY is an international group show conceived especially for Kunsthalle CCA Andratx. The exhibition will explore the notion of art, space and their interplay by challenging the visitor's perception.
Richard Prince — American Prayer
BNF - National Library of France, Paris March 29, 2011 to June 26, 2011
After the Musée du Louvre and the Château de Versailles where Jan Fabre’s and Jeff Koons’ works were respectively presented, the Bibliothèque nationale de France also opts for contemporary creation, inviting the worldwide famous American artist, Richard Prince. Especially well-known for his cow boy photographs illustrating Marlboro advertising campaigns and for his series of « nurse » paintings, the artist is the best at depicting the American fin de siècle. This is the first monographic exhibition on Richard Prince organised in Paris. The title « Richard Prince – American prayer » refers to Jim Morrison’s poem. The exhibition focuses on a feature of personality never presented before. Richard Prince is a passionate booklover and a collector of American pop culture and countercultures from the 50s’ to the 80s’. This artistic movement has inspired his work as photographer and painter.Thanks to a musical background - including works by Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan and the Velvet Underground – and to his collaboration with the designer David Adjaye, Richard Prince portrays an American continent scoffing at its myths, introduced in a beat, hippie or punk context. Rare books and manuscripts by Rimbaud, Céline, Cocteau and Genet, European underground magazines and popular books, were selected among BnF’s collections. Richard Prince has planned to re-appropriate some of them, building bridges with several treasures from his private collection of books that were never previously put on display. Documents connected to the key beat generation figures are presented such as an annotated copy of William Burroughs’ « Naked lunch » or the handwritten scroll of Jack Kerouac’s « Big sur », Prince’s collection of « pulp fiction » focusing on the erotic and disturbing nurse character or his collection of editions of Nabokov’s « Lolita » in about twenty languages. Paintings, drawings, photographs, artists’ books, manuscripts and objects illustrate the artist’s personal universe between high and low culture, between America and Europe. The exhibition ends with a reading room which walls have been covered with fake books conceived by Richard Prince and treasures rarely presented before.
Contemporary Art Center of Málaga (CAC)
18 March to 12 June 2011
The Contemporary Art Center of Málaga, in collaboration with the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, is presenting the first exhibition in Spain of the Swiss artist, Sylvie Fleury.
It comprises a survey of her output over the last 20 years and will allow the visitor to see some of her most important works through which she offers an ironic vision of consumer culture and the angst that prevails in contemporary society.
Sculptures, murals, videos and neons constitute the key pieces in a comprehensive display of works which demonstrates that nothing is what it seems while revealing the most destructive side of present-day aspirations.
The artist guides the viewer through the world of fashion, luxury and leading brand names, using the vehicle of art to criticise the superficiality of a capricious, dissatisfied world.
After the Gold Rush : Contemporary Photographs from the Collection
@ The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present After the Gold Rush: Contemporary Photographs from the Collection from March 22, 2011, through January 2, 2012, in the Joyce and Robert Menschel Hall for Modern Photography. Drawn entirely from the Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition features 25 photographs dating from 1979 to the present by 15 contemporary artists.
This is the first occasion for the Museum to present recently acquired works by: Curtis Mann, Gretchen Bender, James Casebere, Moyra Davey, Katy Grannan, Hans Haacke, An-My Lê, Trevor Paglen, and Wolfgang Tillmans. Also featured are photographs by: Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Robert Gober, Adrian Piper, Laurie Simmons, Jeff Wall, and Christopher Williams.
'Ten Thousand Waves' by Isaac Julien
@ Museum Brandhorst, Germany
From 30 March 2011 onwards the work "Ten Thousand Waves" by Isaac Julien will be presented for the first time in Germany in the Museum Brandhorst. Ten Thousand Waves is a 9-channel video installation which the artist worked on for almost four years and it was finished in 2010.
80333 Munich | Germany
P: +49 (0)89 23805-2286
The Udo and Anette Brandhorst Stiftung has contributed to the financing of a new work by Isaac Julien, which was completed in 2010 and will be presented in Germany for the first time starting 30 March 2011 in the Museum Brandhorst.
Ten Thousand Waves is a 9-channel video installation which the artist worked on for almost four years. The main scenes were filmed in China under participation of several internationally-celebrated actresses, including the legendary Maggie Cheung and Zhao Tao. The video artist Yang Fudong, as well as the poet Wang Ping and calligraphy grandmaster Gong Fagen also stood before the camera.
The starting point for Julien was a Chinese legend concerning the goddess Mazu whose special powers include the safe escorting of those imperiled at sea to quieter shores. Clips of old photographs conjure up this story; however, Julien relocates the main character, played by Maggie Cheung, to modern-day China where scenes are repeatedly filled with tumultuous traffic jams in Shanghai. These are contrasted with wonderful riverscapes, bordered by bamboo forests and sandstone mountains, in which a few river boats have gone astray. A second storyline focuses on the death of 23 illegal Chinese immigrants in England who worked as cockle pickers. Being unfamiliar with the tide times of the Atlantic Ocean, they perished in 2005 during the incoming spring tide. Mazu was unable to help with this situation. The only thing that “survived” the tragic accident was a major media response. A third level is manifested in sequences that relate to the first decades of the 20th century when Shanghai was granted special status, enabling the production of important films like, among others, The Goddess, which traces the fate of a young unemployed woman who turns to prostitution in order to support herself and her child. In Julien’s version, which evokes the atmosphere of the 1930s, this role is played by Zhao Tao.
With Ten Thousand Waves Julien resolutely continues to make use of those elements that already characterize his earlier works (including Western Union / Small Boats in the collection of the Museum Brandhorst). His video installations all address aesthetic, social and psychological aspects of various living environments in which Western ideas of global culture are partly questioned and partly formulated in a new way. It is, as it were, the interleaving of post-colonial strategies with post-structuralist rudiments that assigns Isaac Julien’s oeuvre the outstanding role it has achieved within the spectrum of contemporary art.
Maison Elsa Triolet, Aragon, France
18.06.11 - 02.10.11
Blind Landscape - Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth
17.04.11 - 19.06.11
Blind Landscape - Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, USA
28.01.11 - 08.05.11
This survey presents a spectrum of the artist's most recent and ambitious projects created between 2005 and 2010. Featured among the exhibition's ten works is the artist's latest graphite and steel sculpture, Drawn Waters (Borrowdale) (2009); and Epic (2009), a monumental graphite wall installation. Resembling an immense, cascading branch, Vertigo (sotto en su) (2007) includes eight layers of precision-cut, highly polished metal woven into an intricate, reflective arboreal pattern that suspends from the ceiling high above the viewer.