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Israel Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Purchase Ann Lislegaard Video Installation

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) today announced the joint acquisition of Ann Lislegaard’s Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard) (2006), a silent two-screen video installation from a trilogy of three-dimensional animations based on science fiction novels. Inspired by J.G. Ballard’s dystopian 1966 book The CrystalWorld, which tells of a landscape and its inhabitants slowly petrifying into crystal, the video installation depicts a surreal architectural landscape being overtaken by crystalline forms, and incorporates text from the novel. Like many of the artist’s works, Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard) investigates spatial perception and cognition and explores divergent narrative forms.

“This partnership allows CrystalWorld (after J.G. Ballard), a seminal new-media work, to be presented in the context of two unique collections and to be experienced by audiences both in the U.S. and in Israel,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “With this acquisition, the Israel Museum has added a second work by Ann Lislegaard to its collection, complementing her 2005 video installation Bellona (after Samuel R. Delany). Presented together in our renewed contemporary art galleries, these two workswill enrich our contemporary collection by allowing for a fuller understanding of the artist’s investigations of spatial and temporal perception.”

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to partner with an international institution like the Israel Museum in Jerusalem on the acquisition of Ann Lislegaard’s video installation,” commented Dr. Hugh M. Davies, The David C. Copley Director and CEO of the MCASD. “Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard) was a major highlight of our 2009 exhibition Automatic Cities: The Architectural Imaginary in Contemporary Art, and now joins our contemporary collection as a key new media artwork.”

Set in a gloomy black and white landscape with features reflecting the work of 20th century architects Bruno Taut, Lina Bo Bardi, and Oscar Niemeyer, and artists Robert Smithson and Eva Hesse, Crystal World (after J.G. Ballard) presents a world in flux. Viewers watch as a recognizable room splinters and multiplies, water pierces through walls, and furniture drifts by, leaving behind a destabilized, labyrinthine space filled with a blinding light that obscures discernable forms and spatial distinctions. The video installation, first shown at the Sao Paolo Biennale in 2006, is displayed on two screens runningin 5:39-minute and 6:23-minute loops. The loops are played deliberately out of synch, creating the possibility for multiple narrative experiences. The installations Bellona (after Samuel R. Delany) (2005), currently in the collection of the Israel Museum, and Left Hand of Darkness (after Ursula K. Le Guin) (2008) complete Lislegaard’s trilogy of three-dimensional animations inspired by literary works.

The Israel Museum’s purchase was made possible by the Barbara and Eugene Schwartz Contemporary Art Acquisition Endowment Fund. MCASD’s acquisition was supported by proceeds from the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Art Auction 2010.

About Ann Lislegaard

Ann Lislegaard (b. 1962) uses science fiction as a starting point for video and sound installations that explore surreal and alternative realms, where light interacts with space, time is unregulated, and rigid architectural constructs distort and become fluid structures. Lislegaard’s work has been exhibited widely in Europe and in the United States, and has been presented internationally at the Venice Biennale, Sao Paulo Biennale, and Istanbul Biennale. Her installations are held inpublic collections including those of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; and Frac Languedoc-Roussillon, Montpellier, France. Lislegaard lives and works in Copenhagen and New York.

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum’s collection includes more than 4,000 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually through its varied education programs and offers a rich program of films, performances, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Dr. Hugh M. Davies is The David C. Copley Director at MCASD.

Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the State of Israel and is ranked among the leading art and archaeology museums in the world. Founded in 1965, the Museum houses encyclopedic collections ranging from prehistory through contemporary art and includes the most extensive holdings of Biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world, among them the Dead Sea Scrolls. In just 45 years, the Museum has built a far-ranging collection of nearly 500,000 objects through an unparalleled legacy of gifts and support from its circle of patrons worldwide. In 2010, the Museum completed a comprehensive renewal of its campus led by James Carpenter Design Associates, New York, and Efrat-Kowalsky Architects, Tel Aviv, including the creation of new galleries, orientation facilities, and public spaces, and the complete reinstallation of its encyclopedic collections. The Museum also organizes and presents programming at its off-site locations in Jerusalem at the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, where it presents archaeological artifacts from the Land of Israel, and at its historic Ticho House in downtown Jerusalem, a venue for exhibitions of contemporary Israeli art.

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