There are some interesting projects afoot at Bard, The New School, and at the PARC Foundation gallery.
Maria Lind, the CCS (Center for Curatorial Studies) graduate program director, is organizing a large scale exhibition and research project on “the documentary turn in recent contemporary art practice and its heritage in relation to the history of film, documentary photography, and television”. The Greenroom
aims to situate these contemporary documentary practices within current cultural production, and will explore their role within mainstream media. Artist and theoretician Hito Steyerl will collaborate with the Center on all aspects of the project, which [began] in March 2008 and [will] run for approximately three years.
More information is available on the Bard website.
This week, two nights of screenings have been organized with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School. The “Greenroom” screenings include works by selected artists participating in the exhibition at Bard in the fall.
I was particularly struck by the pacing of Chantal Ackerman’s film, D’Est: Au bord de la fiction, which must have captured the rhythm of life in eastern Europe and Russia in 1993 “before it was too late”. She’s been using it as a multi-channel video installation in museum and gallery spaces. I haven’t seen these installations, but wonder if it retains the same temporality and rhythm in that format.
Matthew Buckingham’s work, Situation Leading to a Story (1999), is nicely layered with shifting voices that address his own narrative of four found films and the search for their owner, the marketing of home films by Kodak to wealthy consumers in the ’20s and ’30s, as well as colonialism and economic globalization driven by Frick, Rockefeller, et. al. in the early 20th century. Buckingham’s piece was originally intended as an installation utilizing two rooms — one with a carpet, speaker, and projection through a small opening in the wall and onto the lower right side of an adjacent room, also carpeted and with speakers. I haven’t seen that installation either, but again wonder what effect it has on the viewer’s experience and also how Buckingham feels about its being screened as a stand-alone film.
Another exhibition, Up River: Points of Interest on the Hudson from the Battery to Troy — new work by the Center for Land Use Interpretation, opened May 9 at the new PARC Foundation gallery at 29 Bleeker Street. More on that in another post.