press release

The nineteenth-century tableau vivant is revived and given a new twist in the video works on view in Adad Hannah: Masterpieces in Motion at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum from March 21 through May 30, 2010.

For his first solo US museum exhibition, Adad Hannah will present two videos produced with the collaboration of the Prado Museum, Madrid, that address the art historical canon by reframing Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights (c. 1500-1505) and Diego Velázquez's Las Meninas (1656). A third video restages The Raft of the Medusa (1818-1819)—a mammoth painting by Théodore Géricault which hangs in the Louvre—with a cast of eighteen high-school students and two tree planters in the central British Columbia community of 100 Mile House.

The body of work selected for this exhibition pays homage to the nineteenth-century practice of staging tableaux vivants by having live models hold poses for several minutes. Hannah's short videos attempt to freeze moments of interaction between viewers, the models seen in the work, and canonical paintings from Western art history, providing an opportunity for viewers to reconsider their meanings in the context of contemporary culture.

Hannah says, "I'm interested in undermining the verity of the photographic image by drawing attention to the element of performance inherent within photography. Video allows me to slow down and expand the photographic moment, creating a space for reflection that transforms passive viewers into self-conscious historical agents."

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated booklet with essays by Mónica Ramírez-Montagut, curator at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and Maria Nicanor, assistant curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

The Aldrich will celebrate the opening of Adad Hannah: Masterpieces in Motion by hosting a Creative Conversation between the artist and the curator on Sunday, March 21, 2010, from 4 to 5 pm. Following the program, patrons are invited to enjoy refreshments, meet the artist, and explore the work on view from 5 to 6:30 pm. FREE for members; reservations are required for the Creative Conversation, which has been made possible by the generous support of Québec Government Offices in Boston and New York.

The Aldrich is supported, in part, by the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The official media sponsors of exhibition openings are Ridgefield Magazine and WSHU Public Radio.

The Artist: Adad Hannah was born in New York in 1971, and grew up in Israel, London, and Vancouver. He earned a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, and an MFA from Concordia University in Montreal. He currently lives and works in Montreal. Hannah's works have been produced in collaboration with and exhibited at such institutions as the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Rodin Gallery in Seoul. He recently exhibited at Zendai MoMA, Shanghai (2009), Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (2008, 2009), Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin (2008), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2006), the 4th Seoul International Media Art Biennale (2006), and Casa Encendida, Madrid (2006). His work has also been featured in two public art projects as part of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver. Hannah's works are in private, corporate, and institutional collections around the world, including: Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal; Ke Center for Centemporary Art, Shanghai; SSamzie Collection, Seoul; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; Mordes Collection, Miami; Monash University, Melbourne. In 2009 he won a Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton award for outstanding artistic achievement from the Canada Council for the Arts. Visit adadhannah.com. Adad Hannah is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain in Montreal.

Adad Hannah: Masterpieces in Motion