Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Manon de Boer: Between Perception and Sensation opens at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis

Manon de Boer: Between Perception and Sensation

Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis

January 21 – May 1, 2011

For her first major exhibition in the United States, the acclaimed Dutch, Brussels-based artist Manon de Boer asks us to listen as we look in uniquely crafted films that are defined by sound.

For over a decade, she has made a series of cinematic portraits, depicting friends, writers, dancers, composers, and musicians to explore questions of time and memory. Meanwhile, she examines how musical structures can transform what we experience. With a focus on performance—and the ways that sound can give a film its form— CAM spotlights De Boer’s expansive and grounding experimentations with sound, image, and the fundamental experiences of film. For Presto, Perfect Sound (2006), De Boer shot six takes of a violin performance, out of which she cut and then reconstructed the optimal sound composites to produce a “perfect performance,” despite the visual glitches we see before us. In Two Times 4’33” (2008), her camera fixes on the feeling of silence, on film and in the body, as it reverberates through the audience and extends to us off screen. A third film, Dissonant (2010), reveals the rupture between what we see and hear, and as the screen goes black, the viewer trades vision for the pure aural experience of a dancer’s moving feet.

In an ambitious installation conceived especially for CAM’s galleries, De Boer presents four key works that address her attention to the structures of music, orchestrating her films so that each portrait amplifies the connection between image and sound, performer and audience—asking us to revisit the process of looking and listening through the artist’s singular interrogation of cinema.

Manon de Boer: Between Perception and Sensation is curated by Laura Fried, Associate Curator, and João Ribas, Curator at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge. The exhibition is organized by CAM.


Manon de Boer, Attica, 2008. 16 mm black and white film with mono sound, 10 minutes. Courtesy of Jan Mot, Brussels.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Frances Stark in Art in America/Boston Globe

Frances Stark: This could become a gimick [sic] or an honest articulation of the workings of the mind, on view last year at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, is the subject of a feature by Nancy Princenthal in Art in America, and reviewed by Sebastian Smee in the Boston Globe:

Art in America

The Internet Age is widely understood as the apogee of image culture, but the medium in which we swim, buoyed by waves of chat, posts and tweets, seems increasingly to be the written word. Or so it appears in the company of Frances Stark.

Like more than a few artists of her generation, Stark (born 1967 in Newport Beach) often incorporates writing in her work, which was surveyed recently at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge. She has also published her texts independently in various magazines, catalogues and freestanding books, and has penned the odd exhibition review. A cross between fluidly interdisciplinary commentary and wry interior monologue, Stark’s prose showed up at the List Center not only as content in her drawings and collages but also in the works’ titles; in wall labels, which were generally restricted to the usual identifying information but sometimes digressed rather freely; and, most prominently, in the exhibition catalogue, which is not a conventional document (there are no illustrations) but an anthology of her essays, graced very occasionally with exceedingly terse marginal notations by the survey’s curator, João Ribas. Stark’s relish for marginalia is confirmed by the title of both book and exhibition, This could become a gimick [sic] or an honest articulation of the workings of the mind, which derives from a comment written in the margin of a used copy of Alain Robbe-Grillet’s 1955 novel The Voyeur. Stark transcribed the annotated page of this lucky find into a drawing in 1995. (Read more)

Frances Stark's 'Why should you not be able to assemble yourself and write.'


An artist who labels herself

Frances Stark puts words to work, with wit

Frances Stark is obsessed with something akin to the problem we all face every time we set about achieving anything: How to filter out distractions, white noise, and the marginalia of the mind. How to make thoughts cohere.

Currently enjoying her first US museum survey at MIT’s List Visual Arts Center, Stark is also obsessed — and here is where she differs from most of us — with how to make art.

Apparently, it’s not easy. Or else it’s almost ridiculously easy. Part of the fun of Stark’s work is that she alternates between confounding and confirming our expectations of how much work is involved in producing a “work’’ of art. (Read More)