An exhibition of works by a number of young artists from America and Britain working with film and video installation opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Friday 14 February. Scream and Scream Again: Film in Art, organised by the Museum of Modern Art Oxford and shown in collaboration with the Douglas Hyde Gallery, explores the use of film and video in the work of six artists. The museum show includes three specially commissioned installations – one by recent Turner Prize winner, Douglas Gordon, the others by Liisa Roberts and Isaac Julien, with a film piece by Marijke van Warmerdam. The Douglas Hyde Gallery exhibition, which also opens on Friday 14 February shows the work of Tony Oursler and Sadie Benning. The exhibition takes its title from a 1969 British horror film starring Vincent Price and Peter Cushing.
Although diverse in form and content, the work in the exhibition is united in its concern with the power of the project image. It ranges across the entire field of the moving image, from cheap, hand-held videos to Hollywood drama. Douglas Gordon’s Black and White (Babylon) epitomises the new fluidity which has developed between video and film in the work of a new generation of artists. His new commission uses a 1960s stag film of a stripper, dramatically slowed down and projected onto two large screens (one right way up, the other inverted). The inversion and the slow motion breaks the expected reading of the film and allows the spectator to become aware of what Gordon describes as the ‘unconscious’ content of film.
In Trap Door the New York based artist Liisa Roberts projects slow-motion silent 16mm films onto four free-standing screens. The installation creates a sculptural environment through which the viewer is able to move around and select a personal vantage point. Her work explores the perceptions of reality and representaton that we have become used to through the conventional cinema. The British film-maker, Isaac Julien’s new film Trussed is projected in duplicate onto the gallery walls. It identifies and explores the ambiguities of relationships and stereotypes from the position of the black gay male. Images of pleasure and pain alternate in tableaux of erotic, sado-masochistic play and sickness. Dutch artist, Marijke van Warmerdam, now based in New York, represented Holland in 1993 Venice Biennale. She works in 16mm film, creating installations that explore the politics of film and photography, in particular the power of the gaze.
At the Douglas Hyde Gallery Sadie Benning interweaves the 1950s Hollywood film The Bad Seed with footage of herself in various male and female guises, while the impact of commercial cinema and television on our psyche is the subject of System for Dramatic Feedback, a large video installation by Tony Oursler.
Scream and Scream Again is on show at the Museum from 14 February to 16 April and at the Douglas Hyde Gallery from 14 February to 12 April.
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