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Resonating Surfaces—A Trilogy
November 17, 2012–May 5, 2013
Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, Julien Levy Gallery
On view this fall at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a trilogy of cinematic portraits created over ten years by the contemporary Dutch artist and filmmaker Manon de Boer (born 1966). The three films feature personal introspective narratives focused on the transformative experiences of life in the seventies, a time when each of the subjects struggled to define their identities. The women featured are the late Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel, who played the lead role in the first three French cult classic films of the Emmanuelle series and died October 17, 2012; Suely Rolnik, a Brazilian psychoanalyst, cultural critic, curator, and professor; and American percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky, who emerged during this time as a celebrated avant-garde musician. In these works, de Boer invites the viewer to experience their stories, through the filter of their personal memories.
Adelina Vlas, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art said, “These films are unique in their engagement with portraiture. What is especially fascinating is that de Boer pointedly subverts traditional filmmaking by separating the subjects’ voices from their actual physical presences in what amounts to a heightened experience for the viewer.”
The trilogy begins on November 17 with Sylvia Kristel–Paris (2003, 39 minutes), which opens with the actress smoking a cigarette and cuts to a panoramic view of Paris, the city that serves as a background as she reminisces about acting and her turbulent love life. The story is recounted twice, once in November 2000 and again in September 2001, but is presented in non-chronological order, further emphasizing the mutability of memory which is especially noticeable when details of Kristel’s two versions diverge.
Resonating Surfaces (2005, 39 minutes) portrays psychoanalyst Suely Rolnik in the context of the sounds, smells, and colors of São Paulo, Brazil, her native city, in addition to the intellectual atmosphere of 1970s Paris, the city of her exile. Rolnik delves into a personal history of her alternative lifestyle, imprisonment under Brazil’s military dictatorship, exile to Paris, and psychoanalytic work and relationships with the two founders of schizoanalysis, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, whose work focused on the role of social behavior in understanding personality.
In the third film, Think about Wood, Think about Metal (2011, 48 minutes), American percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky talks from her studio in Italy about her early life in the Midwest to finding a place in the avant-garde music world. One of the few professional female percussionists, Schulkowsky reflects on how American composer John Cage inspired her to rethink music, which influenced the direction of her own compositions as well as the title of the film.
Manon de Boer: Resonating Surfaces—A Trilogy is part of the ongoing Live Cinema series at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which explores video and film work in contemporary art. The trilogy will be presented on a rotating weekly schedule. A series of public events, including the participation of Manon de Boer and Robyn Schulkowsky, will be scheduled in early February 2013. For more information visit philamuseum.org.
Note to Editors
- Brussels-based Manon de Boer was born in Kodaicanal, India, in 1966. She trained at Willem de Kooning Akademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Rotterdam and at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. Using personal narration and musical interpretation as both method and subject, Boer explores the relationships between language, time, and thought, creating film portraits that engage and challenge conventions of the film medium. Her work has been shown in many international exhibitions and film festivals, including most recently dOCUMENTA (13). De Boer currently teaches at the School of Arts in Ghent.
- Live Cinema is a series of programs that explores video and film work by a diverse group of local, national, and international artists. In the last decades 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 sixties and in the tradition of experimental filmmaking. Each program of the Live Cinema series focuses on a specific aspect of this work, in order to both map and analyze this important facet of contemporary art production.
This exhibition is made possible by the Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam, and by public funds from the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York. Additional support is provided by the University of Delaware Art Department.
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Tuesday–Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
The exhibition will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day and open during normal hours on Columbus Day, New Year's Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.