Contemporary Arts Museum Houston opens Parallel Practices: Joan Jonas & Gina Pane

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston presents Parallel Practices: Joan Jonas & Gina Pane an exhibition on view March 23–June 30, 2013.

Gina PaneGina Pane, Azione Sentimentale, 1973. Seven color photographs on wood panel, 48 1/4 x 40 1/8 inches. Courtesy Anne Marchand and kamel mennour, Paris.
Photo: Françoise Masson. © ADAGP Gina Pane.

Parallel Practices: Joan Jonas & Gina Pane brings together selected works made between 1965 and 2010 by two artists renowned for their foundational contributions to the field of performance art. Jonas and Pane, as proto-feminists of the same generation based in New York and Paris respectively, worked multidisciplinarily in a moment when many of their peers focused attention on a single medium. Jonas’s and Pane’s work plays with and looks beyond medium-specific discourses, responsively engaging issues of temporality, narrative, politics, and myth. Parallel Practices celebrates shared and complementary aspects of Jonas’s and Pane’s art and highlights the differences that characterize their unique bodies of work. This exhibition also marks the first comprehensive presentation of Gina Pane’s oeuvre in the United States.

Joan Jonas’s (b.1936, New York City) experiments with video are among the earliest and most enduring investigations of this medium. Works like Good Night Good Morning (1976) mine the connections and discrepancies between real and televisual space as Jonas repeatedly greets a camera, recording her action for later viewing. Parallel Practices includes Reading Dante III (2010), in which literary narrative provides an inspiration for a multi-channel video and sculptural environment that blurs the boundaries between the inside and outside of the filmic frame. Beginning on May 4, Jonas’s performance work Mirror Check (1970) will be presented in CAMH’s Brown Foundation Gallery on Saturdays at 2pm.

Gina Pane’s (b.1939, Biarritz–d.1990, Paris) early works include a series of physical interventions in pastoral landscapes. Documented in sequences of still images, these works anticipate a series of actions in which Pane wounded herself to shock her audiences out of complacent states. Action Escalade Non-anesthésiée (Action Non-anaesthetized Climb) (1970) pairs a ladder-like metal structure whose rungs are covered with sharpened metal points with a grid of photographs that document Pane climbing on the structure to the point of total exhaustion. The constats d’action (proofs of action) are unique montages of photographic images—occasionally with drawings or notations—that Pane created to contextualize her actions. These are autonomous works that extend the life of the artist’s performances and communicate their sensibilities. A final series, the Partitions, are nearly alchemical transformations of spiritual iconography into expressions of otherworldly concerns.

Parallel Practices: Joan Jonas & Gina Pane is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an introduction by CAMH Director Bill Arning; a text by the exhibition’s curator, Dean Daderko; and commissioned essays by Barbara Clausen, Élisabeth Lebovici, and Anne Tronche. Designed by AHL&CO, it will feature full-color images of the exhibition, a checklist of exhibited works, artist biographies, and a related bibliography. For more information or to pre-order your copy, visit the Distributed Arts Publishers (D.A.P.) website here.

Discussion Group: The Ground Floor
Thursday, April 4, 11, 18 & 25, 6:30–8:30pm
The Ground Floor is designed to spark conversations among CAMH’s cultural stakeholders. Inspired by discursive forums organized by artist Malin Arnell, each gathering includes a presentation by an invited guest on a subject topically related to the exhibition, followed by a facilitated discussion. Gatherings are limited to 15 participants and presentation topics and RSVP instructions are published in CAMH’s weekly e-newsletter Steel Wired two weeks prior to each event. Sign up for Steel Wired here.

Musiqa Loft Concert
Thursday, May 9, 6:30pm
Nationally acclaimed contemporary music ensemble Musiqa presents a repertoire inspired by the exhibition, including works by Morton Feldman, Elisa Kats-Chernins, Pauline Oliveros, Arvo Pärt, and John Taverner.

In Conversation: Dean Daderko and Élisabeth Lebovici
Saturday, May 11, 2pm
Join Curator Dean Daderko and Paris-based writer, critic, and activist Élisabeth Lebovici for an intimate tour of the exhibition.

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
5216 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006
Hours: Tuesday–Wednesday 10am–7pm
Thursday 10am–9pm / Friday 10am–7pm
Saturday 10am–6pm / Sunday 12–6pm
Admission is always free
T 713 284 8250