Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Premiere Exhibition of Immobilité

From the Chelsea Art Museum website:
Immobilité, a solo exhibition of new work from artist Mark Amerika, opens Wednesday, April 8th, in The Project Room for New Media at Chelsea Art Museum and remains on view through May 9, 2009. Simultaneously, a remix version will be exhibited in the Streaming Museum that presents exhibitions in cyberspace and a network of public spaces on seven continents. Amerika will give a talk about the work on Thursday, May 7 at 6:30 PM at Chelsea Art Museum, 556 West 22nd Street, New York.

Amerika describes Immobilité as "a feature-length foreign film shot entirely on a mobile phone in Cornwall, UK." The work includes an original soundtrack by renowned sound artist Chad Mossholder and introduces Camille Lacadee and Magda Tyzlik-Carver as on-screen personas that drift in and out of the film's otherworldly landscapes and ghostly narrative sequences.

The story of Immobilité is driven primarily by the innovative use of subtitles as an alternative literary track that situates the work in the rich history of experimental art-house cinema. Bringing to mind the deep philosophical cinema of European auteurs Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni, Amerika mashes up the language of "foreign films" with landscape painting and literary metafiction to reveal a future world where the dream of living in utopia can only be sustained by a nomadic tribe of artists and intellectuals. Tapping into the contemporary angst that fills our own contemporary lives, Immobilité investigates the innate desire of living organisms to release their creative energies as part of a collective strategy of cultural renewal.

The work was composed using an unscripted, improvisational method of acting and the mobile phone images are intentionally shot in an amateurish or DIY [do-it-yourself] style similar to the evolving forms of video distributed in social media environments such as YouTube. By interfacing this low-tech version of video making with more sophisticated forms of film art, Amerika both asks and answers the question "What is the future of cinema?" The work also throws a kink into the conventional museum experience by challenging museum visitors to immerse themselves in this 75-minute work of moving visual art in its entirety.

The website component of the artwork, scheduled to launch in conjunction with the museum opening at immobilite.com (under construction), is itself an experiment in expanding the work beyond the museum installation space and includes both video and audio remixes, a freely downloadable "Director's Notebook," and an iPhone application that when downloaded can be played as a condensed version of the work composed of remixed film stills and subtitles.
The full announcement is here.

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