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April 10th, 2008
Museum's 'Live Cinema' Presents the Multifaceted Work of Carlos Amorales

Live Cinema/ Carlos Amorales: Four Animations, Five Drawings, and a Plague focuses on the work of Carlos Amorales, one of Mexico’s leading contemporary artists. This exhibition includes a selection of video animations in Gallery 179, along with a group of new drawings, and a cloud of black paper moths that swirl along a staircase and spread across the walls and ceiling of Gallery 178.

Born in 1970 in Mexico City, Amorales studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademia in Amsterdam. Over the last decade the artist has developed a unique visual vocabulary in mediums ranging from drawing and animation to installation and performance. Four Animations, Five Drawings, and a Plague traces the development of Amorales’s “Liquid Archive,” a database of digital images that he uses in his work, whether alone and in collaborative projects. This selection underscores the role of the artist as critical filter and role in examining forms and their potential meaning. In his work, Amorales dissolves boundaries between his media: humans become animals and animals assume human forms, or a sinister hybrid of the two. Familiar images and objects are rendered mysterious and menacing in surreal visions that are influenced by gothic literature, mythological motifs, and Mexican popular culture. Black Cloud (2007), the installation accompanying the animations and drawings takes the Liquid Archive into a three-dimensional realm. Selected Ghosts (composition) 01-05 (2008) is a series of paper collages that is shown for the first time. In these works the artist uses vector graphics to generate the outline of various images from his archive, capturing their silhouettes. Images of skulls, spiderwebs, birds, trees and the human form are repeated and transformed in the various compositions, as their outlines appear to merge and dissolve.

The selection of black and white single-channel animations reflects the artist’s fascination with hybrid imagery, including the crossbred wolf-human creature in the Manimal (2005) and the rapid-fire shapes and forms in Faces (2007). These films, along with the playful Rorschach Test Animation (2004), which presents a shifting series of inkblots against a white background, push figurative representation to its limits, in the process enabling the artist to develop his own abstract visual language.


Related event

Conversation with the artist
Carlos Amorales in dialogue with Adelina Vlas, exhibition curator
April 11, 2008 at 6:00 pm, Seminar Room
Free after Museum admission


About Live Cinema

Live Cinema is the title of a series of film and video programs at the Film and Video Gallery that explores the vast production of single channel video and film by a diverse group of local, national and international artists. In the last decade an ever-increasing number of contemporary artists have appropriated these media as an artistic outlet, in dialogue with the early video and Super 8 practices of the 1960s and the tradition of experimental filmmaking. Each installment of the Live Cinema series focuses on a specific aspect of this work, in order to both map and analyze this important aspect of contemporary art production. Programs are accompanied by a series of public lectures by the participating artists as well as a publication in which writers discuss the works exhibited.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at pressroom@philamuseum.org. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

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