Ghent - S.M.A.K. - Johan Grimonprez - Manfred Pernice24/08/2011
It's a Poor Sort of Memory that Only Works Backwards: On Zapping, Close Encounters and the Commercial Break
15 October 2011 - 8 January 2012
S.M.A.K. is presenting the first extensive Belgian retrospective of the film-maker and artist Johan Grimonprez (1962, Roeselare). Several ensembles comprising video installations, storyboards and drawings will be assembled around key works in his oeuvre. In several of them, Grimonprez enters into dialogue with other people, including the artist Roy Villevoye and the documentary-maker Adam Curtis, and he also brings his films face to face with counterparts from past and present. His constantly expanding 'vlogging installation' runs through the exhibition like a referential thread and, as a sort of artistic sketchbook, it offers an insight into the way Grimonprez broaches new topics and develops visual associations.
Grimonprez's video work manoeuvres graciously between art and cinema, documentary and fiction, practice and theory. In a world awash with images produced and reproduced on a massive scale, Grimonprez suggests new narrative structures that make it possible to continue telling personal stories. His work is based on an archaeology of the contemporary media and reveals – and disrupts – the part the moving image plays in the construction of our personal and political histories, our fears and desires and the way we see ourselves and the world. Using documentary material, found footage, historical items from archives, his own home videos, news pictures, advertising, video clips and excerpts from Hollywood films, Grimonprez tries in his own way to give some meaning to the havoc wreaked by History. Duplication, mirroring, imitation and associative shifts require a double-take from the viewer, a screening that is able to open up several layers and an intelligent and visually complex double meaning. Perhaps it is true that a memory doesn't only work backwards, as the title of this exhibition suggests.
Image: Anonymous, St Petersburg, February 1993
15 October 2011 - 8 January 2012
For his exhibition in the S.M.A.K., the German artist Manfred Pernice (1963, Hildesheim) will present a collection of recent work centred on the monumental 2010 architectural installation 'Tutti'. The presentation is a confrontation with the architecture of the S.M.A.K. exhibition rooms and gives the exhibition a special site-specific character.
Tutti is a development of the installation sculpture D & A-Punkt, a work the museum purchased more than ten years ago. This approach is typical of Pernice's artistic practice. Indeed, the power of his work lies in its unfinished state, the visible creative process and its variability. His architectural sculptures are constructed from simple materials like wood and chipboard, to which cuttings from newspapers and magazines, photos and found and ready-made objects are attached. They look like scale models of impracticable structures, or monumental models on a modest scale. They refer to metropolises with flows of traffic, industry, canals, freight transport and consumer patterns.
Although Pernice's models are formally relatively plain and simple, they refer to complex economic processes. They examine the link between form and content, and aesthetics and function, and express themselves in compacted structures and a dense web of associations. This focus on context, history, production processes and surrounding infrastructure implies a world vision: the utopia Pernice pursues is not just architectural but largely social.
The exhibition is a coproduction by the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, Dundee Contemporary Art in Dundee and the S.M.A.K.
Image: Manfred Pernice, Deja Vue (mixed media), 2008, installation view
More information: www.smak.be