New York Summer 2014. The Jewish Museum Announces Summer Lineup for Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video. Exhibition Series Features Works from Angola, China, and Israel.
New York, NY – Following the November 2013 launch of Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video, the Jewish Museum continues the exhibition series with month-long presentations of recent film and video works from around the world. The summer 2014 lineup focuses on Angola (June 2014), China (July 2014), and Israel (August 2014). Over the course of two years, Sights and Sounds is exploring new works selected by twenty-five curators from different countries, introducing New York audiences to the latest developments in filmmaking within the art context worldwide. Each curator has chosen new film and video works from their respective regions – including Argentina, Vietnam, Nigeria, New Zealand, Egypt, and others. Their selections are screened for one month each in the Museum’s newly refurbished media center, which has been transformed into a miniature cinema. The works in Sights and Sounds touch on themes significant to both Jewish culture and universal human experience, including spirituality, exile, language, conflict, family, humor, and history. The Sights and Sounds exhibition series will culminate in a 2016 conference and a publication with curatorial statements, essays, film stills and descriptions. A full list of participating curators follows below.
Angola, curated by Suzana Sousa – May 30 – June 26, 2014.
Four video works demonstrate a desire to tell stories from Angola, a young country founded in 1975, while questioning and reinterpreting the country’s history and culture. Binelde Hyrcan’s Cambeck features a group of young boys engaging in mocking conversation using a form of local slang, Paulo Azevedo’s slow-motion video features Kazukuta dancers, whose movements are historically linked to colonialism, Angel Ihosvanny Cisneros Felicidade’s video Noise evokes Angola’s capital Luanda featuring layered images of the artist’s mural paintings and found images from the city streets, and Iris Buchholz Chocolate’s work focuses on the Baobab tree, an Angolan symbol of knowledge and ancestral wisdom, through interpretive dance.
China, curated by Carol Yinghua Lu – June 27 – July 31, 2014.
Recent video art from China has expanded the narrative potential of film to create work that is nuanced and subjective while investigating social and political conditions. In Ink Media, artist Chen Shaoxiong pieces together ink-and-brush paintings he has created based on photographs of protests staged around the world. Huang Ran’s Blithe Tragedy is a cinematic and morally ambiguous film that features androgynous men in all roles, Li Ran stars as a soldier in his work spoofing Soviet-era cinema, and Hao Jingban’s An Afternoon Ball explores vestiges of Chinese ballroom dancing culture.
Israel, curated by Chen Tamir – August 1 – August 28, 2014.
Video art is a dominant medium among emerging artists in Israel, who were coming of age in the 1990s, when the hi-tech culture and exposure to international news and pop culture via television were increasing. These videos contain motifs of transformation and metamorphosis, exploring the intersection of the personal and political in Israeli society. Guy Ben Ner’s Spies recounts the biblical story of the twelve spies who were sent to scout the Land of Canaan, while also referring to parts of Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play Waiting for Godot and Jonathan Swift’s parodic novel Gulliver’s Travels. Tali Keren’s Autobody features a surreal scene of Palestinian and Israeli car mechanics, while Mika Rottenberg’s Sneeze features suited men with grotesquely exaggerated and inflamed noses, who cartoonishly sneeze rabbits, raw steaks, and light bulbs. Gilad Ratman also uses cinematic tricks in his video The Days of the Family of the Bell to create the illusion gravity-defying human pyramids, alluding to family trees, the importance of achieving balance within a social structure, and our interconnectedness with one another.
Sights and Sounds Curators (In Alphabetical Order):
Nancy Adajania – India
Miguel Amado – Portugal
Jude Anogwih – Nigeria
Emre Baykal – Turkey
Zoe Butt – Vietnam
Natasha Conland – New Zealand
Joselina Cruz – Philippines
Patrick D. Flores – Singapore
Juan A. Gaitán – Colombia
Daria Ghiu – Romania (March 2014)
Erin Gleeson – Cambodia (Nov. 2013 – Jan. 2014)
Inés Katzenstein – Argentina
Miguel A. López – Peru (April 2014)
Carol Yinghua Lu – China
Mailyn Machado – Cuba
Nontobeko Ntombela – South Africa
Melanie O’Brian – Canada (May 2014)
Luiza Proença – Brazil (February 2014)
Sarah Rifky – Egypt
María Inés Rodríguez – Mexico
Suzana Sousa – Angola
Tijana Stepanović – Hungary
Chen Tamir – Israel
Wayne Tunnicliffe – Australia
Joanna Warsza – Poland
Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video is organized by Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, and Rebecca Shaykin, Leon Levy Assistant Curator.