press release

DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art is pleased to announce its second exhibition

Culture is a repository or an archive to be plundered, contested, evoked or edited. Much contemporary art appropriates, re-imagines or otherwise re-visits established cultural texts, including popular culture and the history of art, film, and performance. The aim is to generate new meanings and fresh relevance from this source material, often by reiterating its value in the form of homage or deflating its claims with critique, but always by rerouting it to mysterious and unexpected places.

DHC/ART Foundation radically transforms its spaces for a major media art exhibition. Re-enactments gathers six artists whose work, in some way, critically re-stages films, media spectacles, popular culture and, in one instance, the intimate moments of daily life. Some of the projects offer bold objectifications of our image-saturated world, while others trigger poetic confusion between memory, fact and fiction. By vividly addressing politics, spectacle and subjectivity these re-workings of cultural texts or events of the past pose compelling questions about the present.

Jean-Luc Godard is the inspiration for two works in the exhibition: Kerry Tribe uses Godard’s experimental television masterpiece France/tour/détour/deux/enfants, made with Anne-Marie Miéville, as the starting point for her poignant dual-screen installation Here & Elsewhere; whereas the extraordinary tracking shot in Godard’s film Le Weekend is the basis for Nancy Davenport’s Weekend Campus, a slow horizontal pan - composed of hundreds of still photographs - over a cataclysm of stalled cars, gruesome accidents and impassive witnesses set at the entrance of a university. Two earlier moments in film history by the Lumière brothers and Georges Méliès are referenced in Davenport’s Workers (leaving the factory) – a speculative, multi-screen take on labour and globalisation. Stan Douglas’ two-projector, single-screen film installation Inconsolable Memories uses the Cuban film classic Memories of Und erdevelopment as its foundational text. Douglas’s “recombinant” installation complicates the original by manifestly displacing its time frame.

Notorious televised sports and entertainment spectacles inform the three projects on view by Harun Farocki and Paul Pfeiffer. Farocki’s Deep Play subjects the 2006 World Cup Final between France and Italy to a stunning formal, scientific, and statistical vivisection over twelve synchronised, real-time video projections. Michael Jackson is the subject of two Paul Pfeiffer works, Live Evil (Bucharest), a small, two-projector piece which shows a quasi-mirrored image of Michael Jackson in performance while visualising the palindrome of the title, and Live From Neverland, an eerie meditation on the pop star’s hugely documented child molestation trial. While not directly inspired by a film or television text, Ann Lislegaard’s I-You-Later-There nonetheless evokes the cinematic experience. The re-enactment in this work consists of a strong halogen light pulsing to the chant-like thoughts of a female voice onto a rectangular surface made of floorboards, which becomes a screen or a stage, complete with the sounds of a creaking floor.

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Nancy Davenport, Stan Douglas, Harun Farocki, Ann Lislegaard, Paul Pfeiffer, Kerry Tribe
Kurator: John Zeppetelli