Antoni Muntadas will participate in “Poesie of Illusions”, exhibition of video art masters in the new Movement Section of the 2023 Beijing International Film Festival, featuring three iconic works, “Alphaville e Outros”, “La Siesta / The Nap / Dutje” and “Dérive Veneziane”. Initiated by Tan Zhuo and curated by Shen Qilan, the exhibition will open on April 20 at UCCA LAB, Beijing, and will continue through May 15.
Antoni Muntadas is an internationally acclaimed pioneer of media art and conceptual art. Through his works, Muntadas addresses social, political and communication issues such as the relationship between public and private space within social frameworks, and investigates channels of information and the ways they may be used to censor or promulgate ideas. His projects are presented in different media including photography, video, publications, the Internet, installations and urban interventions.
Alphaville e Outros
Single-channel HD video, b&w, sound, subtitles｜9′ 18″｜2011
“Alphaville”, a gated residential neighborhood in Sao Paolo, is the primary site of Muntadas’ ‘Alphaville e Outros’, which examines the phenomenon of “gated communities”, and how fear and a search for exclusivity lead to urban isolation and exclusion. The work takes as its reference the 1965 film Alphaville by Jean-Luc Godard (from which the name of the Sao Paulo neighborhood was derived), a dystopian sci-fi vision of a totalitarian, urban future. Scenes from Godard’s black-and-white film are juxtaposed with near-utopian promotions for the Brazilian “Alphaville”, digital animations, footage from security cameras, and images of the Sao Paolo neighborhood’s pools, tennis courts and gardens. Muntadas presents an architecture of space based on the rhetoric and mechanisms of fear and control; the recurring images of massive, running fences suggest the medieval defensive walls that once ringed cities.
La Siesta / The Nap / Dutje
Video installation, color, sound｜Sofa draped in a cloth｜9′ 06″｜1995
‘La Siesta/The Nap/Dutje’ is the result of an invitation by the Netherland Film Museum and the Joris Ivens Fondation in Amsterdam in 1995. This video installation uses black-and-white footage from several films by director Joris lvens (1898-1989), dating from the 1930’s through the 70’s, juxtaposed with color images made by Muntadas. There is audiovisual recording of a nap, a moment of intimacy, and a symbolic evocation of dreams and utopia. Beginning with the sentence “All works of art are always autobiographical,” the introduction is a journey into memory, history, activity and war, and the silent image of a hand emphasizes ‘La Siesta/The Nap/Dutje’ as a metaphor of pause, reflection and space between.
Single-channel HD video, color, sound｜38’00”｜2015
Cities are sometimes represented by strong stereotypes or clichés. ‘Dérive Veneziane’ tries to show another side of the city, the hidden, the unknown, the mysterious.
Through a journey based on the Situationists’ dérive, by night and from a boat… ‘Dérive Veneziane’ brings notions of darkness, loneliness, discovery, loss, intrigue and phantasmagoria. Drifting by night through Venice, on water. Encountering the unexpected and the unanticipated.
A series of resulting tableaux precipitate a new awareness of this urban environment as it is transformed by darkness. Removing all predictable daytime paths, this wandering mise-en-scene gives rise to a new awareness. Exploring the psychogeography first defined by Guy Debord, this journey seeks to modulate reality by creating a disorientating undertow and a keen awareness of terroir.
Venice by night is stimulating, along the lines of what Honoré de Balzac described as flânerie or ‘the gastronomy of the eye’.
Look, See, Perceive Installation view
Solo exhibition at Vanguard Gallery (2019)
Poster designer: He Jianping
Hu Ge, the Referral Officer of Beijing International Film Festival’s new Movement
Section, will be in charge of the introduction and explanation of Antoni Muntadas and his works to the public, please stay tuned.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in 1942 in Barcelona, Muntadas has lived and worked in New York City since 1971, and developed art projects around the world. His projects have been exhibited in prestigious museums such as The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Berkeley Art Museum in California, the Musée Contemporain de Montreal, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Museo de Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires, the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro, MACBA, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, OCAT Shanghai, etc. Muntadas has been selected to participate in international events such as the 6th and 10th Documenta Kassel (1977, 1997), the 51st Venice Biennial (2005), the 16th and 17th Sao Paulo Biennal (1981, 1983), the Whitney Biennial of American Art (1991), and other international biennales in Lyon, Taipei, Gwangju, Havana, etc.
He has been the recipient of several international prizes and grants, including those of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, Arts Electronica in Linz, Laser d’Or in Locarno, the Premi Nacional d’Arts Plàstiques awarded by the Catalan Government, the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas 2005 and Premio Velázquez de las Artes Plásticas 2009 granted by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
His works has been collected by important museums but also by public and private collections such as Centre Pompidou (Paris), Colección “la Caixa” (Barcelona), DZ Bank AG (Frankfurt), Fundação de Serralves (Porto, Portugal), Fundación Botín (Santander, Spain), Kunsthalle Bremen, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), or Tate Modern (London), among others. He has been a Professor at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts for more than 30 years. He is currently a Professor at the Instituto Universitario di Architettura del Veneto (IUAV) in Venice.