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, Cafeteria Dining Hall
INSTITUTE: The Passover Seder is a traditional Jewish symbolic holiday dinner. CalArts deserves one.
ART: Jon Pylypchuk (born 1972 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) is a Canadian painter and sculptor, living and working in Los Angeles. He studied in 1996 at the Yale University Summer School of Music and Art, New Haven, earned a BFA with Honors in 1997 at the University of Manitoba, and an MFA in 2001 at the University of California, Los Angeles.
His work includes sculptures, paintings and drawings, and he has presented his art under the pseudonym Rudy Bust. He was a member of the artist collective known as The Royal Art Lodge (1996–2008) founded by Michael Dumontier, Adrian Williams, Neil Farber, Marcel Dzama, and Drue Langlois, though Pylypchuk was only active in 1996 through 1998.
Pylypchuk has shown internationally in both his solo career and in his collaboration with the Royal Art Lodge. His work has featured at galleries and museums including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the ZKM Museum in Germany, the Royal Academy in London, the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg, and the Musee d'Arte Contemporaine, Montreal. He is represented by China Art Objects in Los Angeles and Friedrich Petzel in New York.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
MUSIC: Gershon leads Philip Glass’ operatic/choral music from the Rome section, the last of the five acts comprising Robert Wilson’s monumental the CIVIL warS. Among the characters in this mesmerizing rumination on war and peace are Mr. & Mrs. Lincoln, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Robert E. Lee, and Hercules.
REDCAT: "Boxing is dancing, a duel is a duet." —NRC Handelsblad, The Netherlands
Choose a ringside seat for this intensely physical dance event set in a stylized boxing ring, and the sweat produced by this remarkable Amsterdam-based company may become part of the experience. In ROCCO, choreographers Emio Greco and Pieter Scholten put dancers face to face in a suite of choreographed bouts that are exhilarating, exhausting and deeply poignant—with a healthy dose of humor as counterpoint. With virtuosic performances, and plenty of nimble footwork, the competitors represent brotherly love with intense abandon: both the good and the bad, from Cain and Abel to Romulus and Remus to Laurel and Hardy. As in the film that inspired it, Luchino Visconti’s Rocco e i suoi fratelli (Rocco and His Brothers), the artists expose both physical and psychological extremes in this powerful work that received Holland’s prestigious SWAN Award for Best Dance Production of 2012.