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.
CalArts, Roy O. Disney Music Hall
MUSIC: Choiceless Awareness is posited in philosophy, psychology and spirituality to be the state of unpremeditated, complete awareness of the present without preference, effort or compulsion. The term was popularized by Jiddu Krishnamurti, in whose philosophy it signifies a main theme.
The project places ten pairs of cloth wardrobes around CalArts. Each pair of wardrobes hosts a performer and a listener. Everyday for one week, the wardrobes will be arranged in different places, all gradually getting closer to the Roy O. Disney Music Hall, where the final performance will be.
D300 Gallery: Mark Desiderio MFA 2 ART
D301 Gallery: Chiquita Landfill Scholarship Exhibition
L-Shape Gallery: Finley Still BFA 4 ART
Main Gallery: Alexander Woods BFA 4 PHOTO/MEDIA
A402 Gallery: Eve LaFountain MFA 2 PHOTO/MEDIA (& FILM)
Lime Gallery: Yaron Guerrero MFA 2 PHOTO/MEDIA
Mint Gallery: Melanie Berry MFA 2 ART
MUSIC: The Composition program presents visiting artist Nicole Gagne, as part of the Graduate Composers' Forum.
Nicole V. Gagne was born in New York and graduated Fordham University with a B.A. in English (suma cum laude, phi beta kappa, in cursu honorum).
She is the co-author of Soundpieces: Interviews with American Compsers and author of Sonic Transports: New Frontiers in Our Music, Soundpieces 2, and Historical Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Classical Music. A contributor to The New Grove II, she has lectured on music at Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Pittsburgh, and the California Institute of the Arts and has written articles for BMI Magazine, Ear, Keyboard Classics, OP, Option, and www.newmusicbox.org. In 2004 her essay “The Beaten Path,” a history of percussion in American music, received the Deems Taylor Award for best magazine article about music.
Currently hosting the SFCR radio series “A 21st-Century Guide to 20th-Century Music,” she is also the librettist and co-composer of the opera Agamemnon.
CalArts, The Wild Beast
MUSIC: The Instrumental Performance program presents visiting artist Miroslav Tadic, as part of the Performance Forum.
Guitarist, composer and improviser Miroslav Tadic completed his formal music education in the United States after studying in Italy and his native Yugoslavia. He has performed and recorded in a wide variety of settings and musical styles, ranging from music of the Baroque and Classical periods to Blues, Jazz, Rock and World music.
Tadic's performing and recording credits include projects with Mark Nauseef, The Los Angeles Opera with Placido Domingo, London Symphony Orchestra, MDR Leipzig Symphony, The Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo, Howard Levy, Joachim Kühn, L. Shankar, Markus Stockhausen, Dusan Bogdanovic, Vlatko Stefanovski, Teofilovic Brothers, Wadada Leo Smith, David Torn, Maria João, Jack Bruce, The Grandmothers of Invention, Theodosii Spassov, Kudsi Erguner, Djivan Gasparyan, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri and Ustad Ashish Khan, among others.
Tadic has recorded worldwide and his music can be heard on CMP Records, M–A Recordings, Third Ear, Avalon, Croatia Records, ENJA, Nine Winds and Sony/BMG. He performs regularly in Europe, North and South America and Japan.
In recent years Tadic has concentrated on developing an approach to improvisation which combines and juxtaposes musical material drawn from many diverse sources, including Baroque, European classical and North Indian classical music, Flamenco, Eastern European folk traditions, Blues, Jazz, and Rock. He is noted for his pioneering work in applying the elements of classical and flamenco techniques to the electric guitar.
He has composed solo and chamber music which is published by Les Editions Doberman-Yppan. Tadic has written music for numerous experimental film, dance and theatre works and most recently completed music for Croatian feature film “Seventy Two Days” by Danilo Serbedzija.
Since 1985 he has been a professor at the prestigious California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles.
CalArts, Roy O. Disney Music Hall
MUSIC: Featuring world premieres and performances of works by CalArts undergraduate composers. Performed by CalArts faculty, students and special guests.
REDCAT: "Mysterious and lush explorations of the visual world… Rick Bahto’s Super 8mm films play like formalist, haiku-like postcards to distant friends." —San Francisco Cinematheque
Since 2002, the Echo Park Film Center (EPFC) has been an influential proponent of small-gauge film, particularly Super 8mm and 8mm. This survey of handmade films affirms the independent spirit of the EPFC community in an aesthetically eclectic range of works from personal diary films to cross-disciplinary collaborations, from documentary portraiture to hand-processed abstraction. Drawing on young experimenters from the center's education and residency programs as well as artists commissioned to make brand-new films for EPFC's 12-year anniversary, the program includes films by Rick Bahto, Ursula Brookbank, Kate Brown, Paul Clipson, Hayley Elliott, Marilyn Hernandez, Ellie Parker, John Porter, Chloe Reyes, Martine Syms, Penelope Uribe-Abee, and Pablo Valencia, all projected from Super 8 or 8mm camera originals.