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Sculpture on Film

elmgreen-dragset-drama-queens2.jpg

Michael Elmgreen, Ingar Dragret / Drama Queens (detail) 2009 / Image courtesy: the artist

SCULPTURE ON FILM

4–27 October 2012

Presented in conjunction with ‘Sculpture is Everything: Contemporary Works from the Collection' at GOMA.

Program 1: Richard Serra, Rebecca Horn, Ana Mendieta

Thu 4 Oct 12 noon and Sat 6 Oct 1.30pm / Cinema A

Program 2: Robert Smithson, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Gordon Matta-Clark

Thu 11 Oct 12 noon and Sat 13 Oct 1.30pm / Cinema A

Program 3: Matthew Barney, Dennis Oppenheim

Thu 18 Oct 12 noon and Sat 20 Oct 1.30pm / Cinema A

Program 4: Elmsgreen & Dragset

Thu 25 Oct 12 noon and Sat 27 Oct 1.30pm / Cinema A

PROGRAM 1

Thu 4 Oct 12 noon and Sat 6 Oct 1.30pm / Cinema A

Richard Serra

Hand Catching Lead 1968

16MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT, 3 MINUTES, USA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CIRCULATING FILM AND VIDEO LIBRARY, MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK

'This is the first film by Serra. He records his right hand, trying to catch pieces of lead as they are falling. The hand opens and closes, trying to get hold of the falling lead. As the film progresses, the effort becomes more apparent, and the hand gets tired.' Argos, Centre for Art and Media

Hand Lead Fulcrum 1968

16MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT, 3 MINUTES, USA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CIRCULATING FILM AND VIDEO LIBRARY, MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK

'In this film, the arm of Serra operates as leverage support, whereas his hand holds a lead cylinder in the upper part of the screen. The hand begins to shake because of the weight of the lead; at a certain point it is about to let go. Serra slowly moves his arm from the upper part of the image, and the film comes to an end when it comes down to the bottom part.' Argos, Centre for Art and Media

Hands Scraping 1968

16MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT, 4 MINUTES, USA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CIRCULATING FILM AND VIDEO LIBRARY, MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK

'Hands Scraping was realised with the assistance of Phil Glass. It reduces the image to a single sequential structure in which the action represents a reduction ad absurdum, because, in the end, the amount of energy it takes to perform what seems like less work, is in fact more considerable. The film uses a particular choreographic style for the hands: the hands of Serra and Glass have different features and they simply interact as they adapt to the movements of the other. Carefully and methodically they clear the ground of a large amount of steel shavings. The rhythm called up by the actions of two pairs of hands creates a performance-like impression, which transcends their practical use.' Argos, Centre for Art and Media

Hands Tied 1968

16MM, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT, 6 MINUTES, USA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: CIRCULATING FILM AND VIDEO LIBRARY, MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK

This film is less of an ordeal than the realisation of an exploit by Richard Serra. The film shows the hands of the artist, tied together with rope, and it goes on as long as it takes for him to get rid of them. The film introduces a dialectic between hands and matter, as these hands try to free themselves from their ties. Similarly to the previous films, the hands turn into protagonists and they take on an expressive physical force in themselves, like the thief in Pickpocket by Bresson.' Argos, Centre for Art and Media

Rebecca Horn

Performances I 1970–72

16MM TRANSFERRED TO DIGITAL VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 19 MINUTES, CINEMATOGRAPHERS: B LIEBNER, K P BREHMER / PURCHASED 2012. QUEENSLAND ART GALLERY / COLLECTION: QUEENSLAND ART GALLERY

Documentation of performances: Rote Glieder (Red Limbs), Rotbrust (Red Breast), Zunehmendes Schwarz (Black Expansion), Hahnengefider (Black Cockfeathers), Balancestab (Head Balance), Schwarze Hörner (Shoulder Extension) and Federkleid (Feather Instrument).

Rebecca Horn was hospitalised for an extended period in the late 1960s due to lung poisoning caused by working with fiberglass without protection. Her body-extension works grew out of this period of inactivity and isolation; out of Horn’s intense desire to communicate with other people through her body. The body‑extensions, which are similar to prosthesis, are connected to the body with straps that are reminiscent of bandages. In this sense, Horn draws on our evolving understanding of the human body as it is constantly pushed and redefined by the medical field with advances in technologies. Horn became well known in the 1970s for her performances that incorporated these body-extensions. The performers use simple and often repetitive actions in which the performer’s movement is hampered or exaggerated by the appendages. 

Ana Mendieta 

Laberinth Silueta, Silueta Series (Laberinth Blood Imprint) 1974

SUPER 8 TRANSFERRED TO BETACAM SP, COLOUR, SILENT, 3:06 MINUTES / COURTESY: THE ARTIST AND GALERIE LELONG, NEW YORK

Untitled (Grass Breathing) 1975

SUPER 8 TRANSFERRED TO BETACAM SP, COLOUR, SILENT, 3:08 MINUTES / COURTESY: THE ARTIST AND GALERIE LELONG, NEW YORK

Untitled Silueta Series 1980

SUPER 8 TRANSFERRED TO BETACAM SP, COLOUR, SILENT, 3:07 MINUTES / COURTESY: THE ARTIST AND GALERIE LELONG, NEW YORK

Isla 1981

SUPER 8 TRANSFERRED TO BETACAM SP, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT, 2:16 MINUTES / COURTESY: THE ARTIST AND GALERIE LELONG, NEW YORK

Untitled (Figura que parece Egypta) 1981

SUPER 8 TRANSFERRED TO BETACAM SP, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT, 5:41 MINUTES / COURTESY: THE ARTIST AND GALERIE LELONG, NEW YORK

Untitled (Figura, Gunpowder en los cracks) 1981

SUPER 8 TRANSFERRED TO BETACAM SP, BLACK AND WHITE, SILENT, 3:09 MINUTES / COURTESY: THE ARTIST AND GALERIE LELONG, NEW YORK

‘Ana Mendieta's work expresses the pain and rupture of cultural displacement, and resonates with visceral metaphors of death, rebirth, and spiritual transformation. During a 1974 visit to Mexico, Mendieta began to produce a series of body imprints (Siluetas) in the landscape, as well as works in which her own body is immersed or shrouded within the landscape. Mendieta inscribes her own form either directly into the landscape or creates them out of rock or other natural elements. This fusion of the artist's body with the earth not only had a deep ritual symbolism, it also represented the artist's own attempt to explore her cultural identity, which reaches a climax in the penultimate piece where Mendieta returns to the landscape of her native Cuba.’ Electronic Arts Intermix

PROGRAM 2

Thu 11 Oct 12 noon and Sat 13 Oct 1.30pm / Cinema A

Robert Smithson

Spiral jetty 1970

16MM TRANSFERRED TO BETACAM SP, COLOUR, STEREO, 35 MINUTES, USA / DIRECTOR: ROBERT SMITHSON / CINEMATOGRAPHERS: ROBERT FIORE, NANCY HOLT, ROBERT LOGAN, ROBERT SMITHSON / EDITOR: BARBARA JARRIS / PURCHASED 2007. QUEENSLAND ART GALLERY / COLLECTION: QUEENSLAND ART GALLERY

Robert Smithson was a key figure in American land art that developed during the 1960s and 1970s. Inspired by Minimalism and Conceptual art, Land art embraced the integration of art and landscape outside the restraints of traditional studio practices. The works were often made in remote landscapes, monumentally rearranging the natural setting to create art works that were then left to naturally evolve with their environment. The best known work of the land art movement was created by Smithson in 1970. Forming a giant 1500-foot spiral into Great Salt Lake in Utah, United States, Spiral jetty was shaped through the movement of local rock and earth into the lake. Existing both as the evolving physical sculptural work – interacting with the changing levels of the red saline water – and as the experimental film work titled Spiral jetty, Smithson explored the conceptual link between geological location and the physical site.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Wrapped Coast 1969

16MM, COLOUR, STEREO, 30 MINUTES, USA/AUSTRALIA / DIRECTOR: MICHAEL BLACKWOOD / SCRIPT: DAVID BOURDON / CINEMATOGRAPHER/EDITOR: CHRISTIAN BLACKWOOD / PRODUCTION CO: BLACKWOOD PRODUCTIONS / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE AUSTRALIA

Wrapped Coast… was the first major environmental project created by the iconic artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, more than a decade before they became famous for large-scale environmental projects at sites around the world. Wrapped Coast was the largest single artwork that had ever been made. Larger than Mount Rushmore, the expanse was so vast that no one vantage point allowed a complete view; instead, visitors walked for an hour to cross its surface. Two-and-a-half kilometres of coast and cliffs up to 26 metres high were shrouded in fabric and rope, appearing like a moonscape, alpine snowfield or Arctic terrain, transformed by sweeping winds into rivulets and billowing sails.’ Kaldor Public Art Projects. 

Gordon Matta-Clark

Conical Intersect 1975

16MM TRANSFERRED BETACAM SP, COLOUR, SILENT, 18:40 MINUTES, FRANCE/USA / DIRECTOR: GORDON MATTA-CLARK  / CINEMATOGRAPHY: BRUNO DEWITT, GORDON MATTA-CLARK / COURTESY: ELECTRONIC ARTS INTERMIX, NEW YORK

‘Gordon Matta-Clark's thoroughly unique artistic project was a radical investigation of architecture, deconstruction, space, and urban environments. For the Paris Biennale in 1975, Matta-Clark made a major cut in two houses adjacent to the Centre Georges Pompidou in Les Halles. The cut, shaped like a twisted cone, was inspired by Anthony McCall's film Line Describing a Cone.’ Electronic Arts Intermix

PROGRAM 3

Thu 18 Oct 12 noon and Sat 20 Oct 1.30pm / Cinema A

Matthew Barney

Cremaster 4 1995 Ages 15+

35MM, COLOUR, MONO, 42 MINUTES, USA/FRANCE/UK, ENGLISH / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT: MATTHEW BARNEY / CINEMATOGRAPHER: PETER STRIETMANN / EDITORS: SCHUYLER GRANT, ERIC SOLSTEIN / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: ÁCCENT FILM ENTERTAINMENT

Esteemed American artist Matthew Barney is best known for The Cremaster Cycle (1995-2002), an extraordinary five-part film project accompanied by related sculptures, photographs and drawings. Created out of sequence over an eight year period, together the films have created a unique aesthetic universe of densely layered symbolism. Throughout the series Barney mixes anatomical and psychosexual allusions with prosthetic effects and draws on a vast range of mythological and historical characters, locations as well as his own autobiography.

Cremaster 4 is set on the Isle of Man—a topographical body punctured by orifices and passageways—where a feverish motorbike race traverses the landscape, a dandified, tap-dancing satyr writhes his way through a treacherous underwater canal, and three burly, ambigendered fairies picnic on a grassy knoll. Part vaudeville, part Victorian comedy of manners, and part road-movie, this film portrays sheer drive in its eternal struggle to surpass itself.’ The Guggenheim

Dennis Oppenheim

Program One: Aspen Projects 1970

VIDEO, 8MM AND 16MM TRANSFERRED TO BETA SP, BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR, SILENT, 30 MINUTES, USA / DIRECTOR: DENNIS OPPENHEIM / GIFT OF THE DENNIS OPPENHEIM FOUNDATION, NEW YORK 1996 / COLLECTION: QUEENSLAND ART GALLERY

Program features the works  Material Interchange 1970, Identity Transfer 1970, Rocked Hand 1970, Compression ― Fern (Hand) 1970, Pressure Piece #1 1970, Glassed Hand 1970, Compression ― Poison Oak 1970, Compression ― Fern (Face) 1970, Leafed Hand 1970

Dennis Oppenheim was part of a generational change in art, politics and social movements, which gathered momentum towards the end of the 1960s. His work aligned itself with ‘land art’, ‘conceptual art’, ‘body art’. These directions attempted to bring art into the sphere of contemporary life by focusing on the body, nature itself and ideas that engaged with everyday reality, rather than memory and history. In these works Oppenheim questions the boundaries between subject and object, by his immersing with its surrounding. Oppenheim summarises body art’s unique ability to question the parameter of the subject: ‘The action and the surface acted upon were united in the same system. The works were both subject and object. The short pieces in this program record performative actions that evolve as exchanges or interactions between Oppenheim's body and natural elements — rocks, leaves, glass, wood. In some pieces, these gestures involve a kind of self-negation; others work in reverse, as Oppenheim leaves imprints or traces of himself.

PROGRAM 4

Thu 25 Oct 12 noon and Sat 27 Oct 1.30pm / Cinema A

Elmgreen & Dragset 

Drama Queens 2007

HD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 42 MINUTES / DIRECTORS: MICHAEL ELMGREEN, INGAR DRAGSET / ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED FOR THE SKULPTUR PROJEKTE MÜNSTER 2007 / COURTESY: THE ARTISTS AND VICTORIA MIRO, LONDON

Drama Queens is a play without actors. Seven 20th Century superstar sculptures find themselves trapped on a theatre stage and out of their usual context. How do they interact with this new environment and with each other? The drama unfolds through a series of clashes and crossovers between the various “isms” and aesthetics which these sculptures represent. The sculptures were inspired by Barbara Hepworth’s Elegy III, Sol LeWitt’s Four Cubes, Hans Arp’s Cloud Shepherd, Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man, Ulrich Rückriem’s Untitled (Granite) and Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box.