Film and Video Gallery 179, First Floor, Van Pelt Auditorium, Ground Floor
Marine Hugonnier's Trilogy is the third installment of Live Cinema, an exhibition series exploring single-channel work at the Museum's Film and Video Gallery. While diverse in subject and approach, these films—Ariana (2003), The Last Tour (2004), and Travelling Amazonia (2006)—engage with what Hugonnier refers to as the "politics of vision": the notion that perception is determined by cultural, political, and actual perspective. To Hugonnier, every vantage point taken in through the camera's lens—from the panorama that derives from militaristic origins, to the tourist site that focuses on highly specific vistas, and the traveling shot that privileges mono-focal perspective and linear time—frames and affects the experience of what is captured on film.
In Ariana, the panoramic view itself becomes an object of desire, as Hugonnier and her film crew search for an elevated perspective into the Panjsher Valley in Afghanistan. After they discover that only Afghani government officials have access to this particular vista, the panorama itself becomes a form of political and militaristic control.
The Last Tour imagines a future deprived of the possibility of experiencing epic images of the landscape, as Hugonnier embarks on a fictive journey through the Matterhorn Mountain to mark its closing to the public. While seemingly dystopian, The Last Tour allows us to realize to what extent tourism determines our perception of the landscape and reality.
Travelling Amazonia trains the lens on the trans-Amazonian highway in Brazil, which was initiated under a dictatorship in the 1970s but never fully completed. Hugonnier's intention to capture a moving image of this unfinished, utopian road runs parallel to her interest in the equally failed nationalistic project that generated it.
Marine Hugonnier is a French artist currently based in London. With degrees in both philosophy and cultural anthropology, Hugonnier's films draw on experimental video art and film as well as on recent cultural theory. She approaches filmmaking as a methodology for understanding the act of seeing as dependent upon culturally produced or politically imposed conditions. These inquiries, clearly reflected in both the content and the structure of her films, place Hugonnier's practice in resonance with a history of experimental filmmakers, such as Jean-Luc Godard and Jean Rouch, who sought to explore the boundaries between fiction and truth while reflecting on the conditions that shape our perception of reality.
ArianaApril 20 - May 20
Super 16 mm film (color) transferred to DVD - 18 minutes, 36 seconds. 2003.
"We wouldn't be able to shoot a panorama..." "Utopias are only a legacy. We have nothing left to hope for from them."
The Last TourMay 22 - June 24
Super 16 mm film (color) transferred to DVD - 14 minutes, 17 seconds. 2004.
"You proudly pretend to be the last where you were once led to believe you were the first."
Travelling AmazoniaJune 26 - July 22
Super 16 mm film (color) transferred to DVD - 23 minutes, 52 seconds. 2006.
Images and Films Courtesy of Marine Hugonnier and Max Wigram Gallery, London, UK
There will also be monthly screenings of all three works in the Van Pelt Auditorium. Screenings will take place May 18, June 15, and July 20, 2007, at 6:00 p.m.
Live Cinema is a series of programs in the Video Gallery of the Museum that explores the vast production of single-channel video and filmwork by a diverse group of local, national, and international artists. In the last decade an ever-increasing number of contemporary artists have appropriated these mediums as an artistic outlet, in a dialogue with the early video and Super 8 practices of the sixties and 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. Certain Live Cinema programs are accompanied by a series of public lectures by the participating artists as well as a publication in which guest writers discuss the works exhibited.
Carlos Basualdo, Curator of Contemporary Art; Erica Fisher, Research Assistant