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Bildmuseet announces Theatrical Fields

Bildmuseet presents Theatrical Fields an exhibition open September 29, 2013–January 5, 2014.

Joan Jonas, Lines in the Sand, 2002. Commissioned by documenta 11. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Werner Maschmann.
Joan Jonas, Lines in the Sand, 2002. Commissioned by documenta 11. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Werner Maschmann.

Theatrical Fields examines forms of artistic practice that make use of the theatrical in performance, film and video. Developed as a research project by the curator Ute Meta Bauer, Theatrical Fields explores the analytical and political potential of theatricality through various manifestations ranging from an exhibition to public presentations, film programme to a live performance.

The exhibition brings together major video installations: Voice off by Judith Barry (USA), Suspiria by Stan Douglas (Canada), Sister Squares by Marcel Dzama (Canada), Lines in the Sand by Joan Jonas (USA), Vagabondia by Isaac Julien (UK) and X Characters RE(hers)AL by Constanze Ruhm (Austria). Situated in juxtaposition, the works generate temporal spaces for experimental action and create unfamiliar proximities and encounters.

The exhibition also features a programme of films by Marie-Louise Ekman (Sweden), Eva Meyer/Eran Schaerf (Germany) and Ulrike Ottinger (Germany) screened on dedicated weekends and evenings in the presence of the artists. Related materials such as storyboards, sketchbooks, costumes, posters that constituted an important component in conception, production and dissemination of the films are presented in the exhibition. The video installations and selected films introduce different methods and foreground various approaches, yet they all investigate the theatrical specific use of elements such as “character,” “voice,” “script,” “choreography” to deconstruct linear ascriptions and reconfigure them in nuanced positions of diversity.

The use of theatricality in the exhibited works, their influence on contemporary art and its theoretical discourse will be explored during two whole-day events featuring presentations by the artists and invited researchers on September 28 and October 26. Please visit Bildmuseet’s website for conference programme and pre-registration.

As part of the public programme for the exhibition, Joan Jonas will perform the piece Reanimation with live music by jazz pianist Jason Moran. Based on the novel Under the Glacier by the Icelandic Nobel Prize-awarded author Halldór Laxness, Reanimation plays with ideas of collages and animation. The piece is presented by Bildmuseet on October 25 in collaboration with Umeå Jazz Festival. Please note, Joan Jonas is also featured at Kulturhuset, Stockholm, this autumn.

Theatrical Fields is produced by Bildmuseet and curated by Ute Meta Bauer.

Assistant curator: Anca Rujoiu

S-90187 Umeå