CINEMATIC BODIES (curator)
(List of artists)
Roland Becerra, Melanie Bonajo, Christopher Brown, Michael Byron, Peter Drake,Teodor Dumitrescu, Vernon Fisher, Cameron Gray, Jane Hammond, David Humphrey, Katharine Kuharic, Kris Lewis, Heather Marshall, Elizabeth Peyton, Jennifer Present, Carly Silverman, Al Souza, Marcelino Stuhmer, Rosemary Warner, Robin Williams, Su-en Wong, Jamie Adams
Post-modernism's widely touted preoccupation with impermanence, disintegration, super-signification, and fragmentation finds its embodiment in the visual and conceptual formulations of cinema. Much has been written in recent years on the ways in which cinema relates to such critical issues as spectatorship, signification and subjectivity, as well as the theorization of visual pleasure.
The interrelationship between painting, photography, and cinema is nothing new. Their corresponding interests merely begin with the mechanisms of lens and screen. Painting’s pre-filmic urge to animate, extend, or transport the body through time and space is a recurring theme throughout art history. For example, innumerable Western European painted depictions of the “Three Graces", dating as far back as the wall frieze in the Villa of the Mysteries at Pompeii (circa 60 AD), seem to prefigure the early 20th century kinetoscope's sequential images (and the multiple viewpoints of Cubist composition) with the presentation of the female figure seen simultaneously from front, back, and side. In the East, Huang Gung-wang's hanging scrolls elicit notions of life as a journey or process, anticipating the moving image by six centuries.
My impulse to curate this show comes from a fascination I have with certain contemporary, figurative artworks, whether painted or photographic, which appear to actively engage with aspects of 'the cinematic'–its projective nature, image-flow, temporal montage, and even celebrity personae. Through a variety of perceptual and critical operations, these images and representations, while often insinuating an interpretive complication or disturbance, purposefully affect a redressing of the figural form through cinematic mediation, affectation, or intrusion.
Within today's promiscuous bombardment of visual information, via blockbuster Hollywood films, cable and satellite TV, image downloads and digital streaming video, such works as these contain, through their stillness, a capacity for informing us about the strains of seduction, propaganda, and coercion lurking within contemporary moving images. Here you may find a pause for reflection amid what Roland Barthes describes as the cinema’s “festival of affects.”
Jamie Adams 2010
Venue: Zolla Lieberman Gallery, Chicago (2010)