O Rinoceronte de Durer (Durer´s Rhinoceros), 2010. 16mm film transferred to high definition video, color, stereo video, color, stereo sound.
REDCAT: Opening reception: Saturday, April 5, 6–9pm
A co-production between REDCAT and Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, Games are forbidden in the labyrinth is Javier Téllez’s first solo exhibition on the West Coast. The exhibition features a newly commissioned installation Chess (2014) and Téllez’s film Dürer's Rhinoceros (2010) in which the artist reflects on the social and historical conception of the psychiatric institution: from architectural structures to technologies and treatments.
Mostly known for his films, Téllez works in collaboration with psychiatric patients or people with disabilities as protagonists. Combining documentary with fictional narratives, often taken from literature and cinema, the artist questions the definitions and social prejudices established between the concepts of normality and pathology. The strategy of using invisible or socially marginalized characters thus becomes a way for the artist to contaminate certain totalitarian versions of history, giving voice to those who usually have none, reflecting a form of resistance to the normalization and homogenization that is characteristic of the dominant discourse.
The point of departure for the exhibition is Dürer's Rhinoceros, shot in the panopticon of the Miguel Bombarda psychiatric hospital in Lisbon. Operational until 2011, the facility was built in 1896 according to Jeremy Bentham’s model to house the criminally insane. Téllez asked patients from a daily clinic to imagine stories of the former patients in the deserted old cells of the psychiatric hospital. This reconstruction of the everyday life of the institution was complemented by voice-overs reading texts from sources such as Bentham’s letter presenting the Panoptic, Plato’s Cave, and Kafka’s short story The Burrow, concerned with different architectural models related to the power of surveillance.
The front part of the gallery—the foyer for the projected film—is a giant chess game, which functions as a collective space to develop a trompe l´oeil of the delirium. One can imagine this chess-asylum as an anthology of the artist’s research on the history of mental institutions, confronting symbolically the institution, the treatments and the patients in an ideological battle: mental illness is consciously presented as a socio-historical construct, and not exclusively as a biological anomaly. The installation seeks to explain the role of medical treatments and psychological techniques as mechanisms of social control that conceal implicit socioeconomic contradictions. The patterns of the board—which also allude to a hospital floor—are invaded by a series of assemblages that function as the main organs of a sterile machine. These pieces appear dissected, showing the core of its constitution, incorporating the narrative of objects, historical moments, and images from literature and film that have contributed to the treatment of mental illness. They further provide references to renowned patients such as Antonin Artaud, Unica Zürn and Adolf Wölfli twentieth-century characters who articulated their own language informed by their condition. The figures and objects in the installation and video work will momentarily abandon the domesticated situation to which they have been reduced, to address the set rules and discourse that previously evaluated and institutionalized them.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with essays by Dieter Roelstraete (Senior Curator at the MCA, Chicago), Ruth Estévez (gallery director and curator at REDCAT) and Javier Téllez.
Javier Téllez lives and works in New York. His work has been shown internationally in venues such as MoMA PS1, New York; ZKM, Karlsruhe; KW, Berlin; Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon; The Power Plant, Toronto; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; SMAK, Museum for Contemporary Art, Ghent; and Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam. He took part in TRACK (2012) in Ghent, dOCUMENTA (13) (2012), Lyon Biennale (2011), Whitney Biennale (2008), Manifesta (2008), Sydney Biennale (2008 and 2004), Yokohama Triennale (2001) and Venice Biennale (2003 and 2001). Javier Téllez is a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial fellow (1999) and was a guest of the DAAD Artist programme in Berlin from 2010 to 2011.
D300 Gallery: Mike Richards MFA 2 ART
D301 Gallery: Patrick Ballard MFA 2 ART
L-Shape Gallery: Elijah Ford MFA 2 ART
Main Gallery: Danny Escalante MFA 2 ART
A402 Gallery: Karan Kapoor MFA 2 PHOTO/MEDIA
Lime Gallery: Miranda Hoffs MFA 2 ART
Mint Gallery: Eli Skipp MFA 2 ART & TECH
CalArts, The Wild Beast
MUSIC: The Performance program presents visiting artist Anne LaBerge, as part of the Performance Forum.
Anne La Berge’s career as flutist/improviser/composer stretches across international and stylistic boundaries. Her most recent performances bring together the elements on which her international reputation is based: a ferocious and far-reaching virtuosity, a penchant for improvising delicately spun microtonal textures and melodies, and her wholly unique array of powerfully percussive flute effects, all combined with electronic processing. Many of her compositions involve her own participation, though she has produced works intended solely for other performers, usually involving guided improvisation and text. She also uses these compositions that work with a flexible combination of imposed musical situations and electronics where performer/improvisers are an integrated part of the music making process as material for workshops and master classes. In addition to creating her own work she regularly performs in other artists’ projects in a range of settings from modern chamber music to improvised electronic music. She can be heard on the Largo, Artifact, Etcetera, Hat Art, Frog Peak, Einstein, X-OR, Unsounds, Canal Street, Rambo, esc.rec., Intackt, Data, Unsounds and New World Records labels which include recordings as Berge duo, Apricot My Lady, Big Zoom, the Corkestra and MAZE.
MUSIC: The Composition program presents visiting artist Camilla Hoitenga, as part of the Graduate Composers' Forum.
Flutist Camilla Hoitenga is at home on stages all over the world, performing in venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Kremlin in Moskow and the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, playing not only the C-flute but also the alto, bass, and piccolo flute and other varieties of her instrument.
She has performed concertos written for her by composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Péter Köszeghy, Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Royal Philharmonic of Stockholm, the Finnish Radio Orchestra, as well as orchestras in Paris, Barcelona, Helsinki, Berlin, Kyoto, Tampere, Frankfurt, Vilnius, and many others, working with conductors like Marin Alsop, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Susanna Mälkki, Alan Gilbert, Christoph Eschenbach and and appeared at important festivals like the Salzburg Festival or the Donaueschinger Musiktage.
Her repertoire ranges from pre-Bach to post-Stockhausen, from concertos to music for flute alone (Stockhausen, Eötvös), from state-of-the art pieces for live video and electronics with Jean-Baptiste Barrière or Claudia Robles to improvisations with Jean-Marc Montera or Taavi Kerikmäe and interdisciplinary projects. Her concerts have been acclaimed by the press as "brilliant", "charismatic", and "ideally transparent and precise", her recordings, in particular those with Kaija Saariaho, have won awards in France, Great Britain and in North America.
In addition to her intensive collaborations with Saariaho, Köszeghy and Stockhausen, she has had pieces dedicated to her by wide range of composers, including Donnacha Dennehy, Christopher Fox, Miyuki Ito, Anne LeBaron, Arvydas Malcys, Michele Rusconi, Oliver Schneller, Helena Tulve, Jovanka Trbojevic, Andreas Wagner, and Bryan Wolf.
She has taught at the State University of New York and at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen/Duisburg and continues to give masterclasses and workshops on various subjects for musicians of all ages.
CalArts, Roy O. Disney Music Hall
MUSIC: Featuring world premieres and performances of works by the CalArts New Century Players under the direction of Christopher Roundtree performing works by CalArts Graduate Composers.
Still from Touch.
REDCAT: “By staking her right to documentary material as well as fictional writing, Shelly Silver sizes up the likelihood of an imaginary point of view reaching a truth more subtle than autobiographical truth.” —Cinéma du Réel
This screening of two works by Shelly Silver begins with What I’m Looking For (2004, digital video, 15 min.), the second in her trilogy of fictional essay films shot in public spaces, which explores the relationship between a female photographer and subjects met on the Internet. The program continues with Touch (2013, digital video, 68 min.), in which a gay man recounts, mostly in Mandarin, his return to New York’s Chinatown after 50 years in order to care for his dying mother. Like the narrator—a librarian, cataloguer and recorder—the city has changed and yet the past still haunts familiar streets. The character is an invention of the filmmaker, but as her narrator confides, “words make the impossible imaginable, therefore possible.” Currently chair of Columbia’s Visual Arts Program, Silver has utilized video, film and still photography to investigate contested territories between public and private, narrative and documentary, the watcher and the watched.