Klængur Gunnarsson, Untitled Trip, 2010, looped HD video, 3min 21s
Curator: Edward Maloney
October 10 - November 16, 2013
Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present a thematic group exhibition entitled Conflict Resolution featuring video work by five artists: Kota Ezawa, Bjørn Melhus, Klængur Gunnarsson, Daniel Froidevaux and Elisa Gonzalez.
This exhibition explores several notions of internal conflict categorized by social, political and technological attempts toward resolution. Selected video works tackle the lingering effects of conflict and the difficulty with solving issues that are folded into the fabric of present day culture.
Kota Ezawa's self-described form of video archaeology takes shape in Take Off (2013), a digital approximation of a watercolour paper animation depicting the television broadcast of George W. Bush's final exit from the White House in 2009. The network moment is wrought with symbolism: the transfer of power, the promise of change at home and abroad.
Bjørn Melhus' video I'm Not the Enemy (2011) delves into the world of a war veteran suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The home becomes alien and family members embody the demons against whom the veteran has to fight. Appropriating dialogues from Hollywood movies that deal with the legacy of the Vietnam War and firmly implanting them amongst quiet German suburbs, I'm Not the Enemy cuts open the ways in which a society engaged in war deals with the guilt of problematic homecomings. This work is accompanied by a 2 frame looped video by Melhus entitled Policia (2007) depicting a continuously hovering police helicopter.
Klængur Gunnarsson's video Untitled Trip (2010) hints at repetitive and futile elements of conflict - internal and international. Shot in the artist's home city of Reykjavík, the work positions a running figure on the geometry of a seaside soccer pitch, evoking an obsessive and relentless back and forth across boundaries of land and air.
Daniel Froidevaux and Elisa Gonzalez' documentary video installation The Quiet Zone (2013) is a look at a remote region of West Virginia called the National Radio Quiet Zone, a government mandated radio quiet area that is home to the world's largest steerable radio telescope, and is attracting a community of people who believe they suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. The Quiet Zone offers a space to contemplate a tenuous connection between the telescope and a community attempting to minimize the pervasive influence of technology, calling into question perceived notions of quiet in the digital age.
Born in Cologne, Germany, in 1969, Kota Ezawa studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and went to California in 1994 on a scholarship from the German government to study at the San Francisco Art Institute. He ended up staying in this country, completing graduate art studies at Stanford University in 2003. His best works deal with culturally charged events, like a 2002 animated remake of the handing down of the verdict in the O. J. Simpson trial. For his widely recognized works he gained several awards and has been on solo shows as the "Matrix 154", Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT / USA and "Photography on Photography: Reflections on the Medium since 1960" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York/ US.
Bjørn Melhus, born 1966, is a German-Norwegian media artist originally rooted in an experimental film context, Bjørn Melhus' work has been shown and awarded at numerous international film festivals. He has held screenings at Tate Modern and the LUX in London, the Museum of Modern Art (MediaScope) in New York, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, amongst others. His work has been exhibited in shows like The American Effect at the Whitney Museum New York, the 8th International Istanbul Biennial, solo and group shows at FACT Liverpool, Serpentine Gallery London, Sprengel Museum Hanover, Museum Ludwig Cologne, ZKM Karlsruhe, Denver Art Museum among others.
Born in Reykjavík, Iceland in 1985, Klængur Gunnarsson is a video and multi-media artist. Gunnarsson sees the hinterland of art as the automatic inhalation of surroundings, feelings, movement, fondling, happiness, unhappiness, etc. His art communicates the influences and perceptions of his immediate environment, the crossroads of the real world and imagination. He has exhibited in Iceland and Italy and recently participated in the World Event Young Artists in Nottingham, England during the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
Daniel Froidevaux is a documentary filmmaker and video artist whose work explores the relationship between memory and history, technology and the individual. Little Castle, his most recent short, played at the 2012 Montréal World Film Festival, and showed in the group exhibition Art of the Archive at the Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto. Inspired by contemporary innovation and experimentation with documentary form, Froidevaux's latest work with collaborator Elisa Gonzalez, The Quiet Zone, is an evolving multi-media project exploring undercurrents of resistance to the permeation of contemporary communications technology.
Elisa Gonzalez is rooted in the fine arts and has been practicing as a multi-media artist and filmmaker for the past ten years. She has worked collaboratively on projects ranging from experimental film to interpretive museum videos, that have been shown in a variety of venues including Bravo! Television, International Film Festivals, and the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center at the Anchorage Museum. Her work addresses questions surrounding the inherent tension between memory and history, exploring the poetic and experimental elements that become crucial points of reference in contemporary documentary form. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada.
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