- Cannon Bernáldez
Guest curated by Jesse Lerner, Pitzer College professor of media studies
September 10–December 9, 2016
Thursday, September 8, 5-7 p.m.
Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Atherton Hall
Exhibition walk-through with curator Jesse Lerner
Wednesday, November 16 at 11 a.m.
The Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Atherton Hall
In this exhibition, Mexico City-based artist Cannon Bernáldez brings together selections from three series of works in her first mid-career survey. Although trained in photojournalism and documentary practices, Bernáldez’s work over the past decade has moved towards the production of constructed images staged for the camera. These three bodies of work—Miedos (Fears, 2004-08), El Diablo anda Suelta (The Devil on the Loose, 2007) and Hermanas (Sisters, 2011-14)—comprise a series of visual essays that poetically reflect upon the physical and psychological effects of a violent culture. In the series Miedos, Bernáldez stages her own death; in El Diablo anda Suelta, faux blood splatter and forensic equipment evoke the aftermath of violent crimes; and in Hermanas, Bernáldez references the nineteenth-century tradition of photographing dead babies as if they were alive.
Much of Bernáldez’s recent work reflects the climate of violence that has taken over Mexico, the country in which she was born and works. The pervasive brutality and culture of fear, amplified by the federal government’s attempts to eliminate the criminal organizations involved in the cultivation and export of illegal drugs (as well as kidnapping, murder and extortion), is one of Bernáldez’s enduring themes. She also incorporates elements of autobiography and reflects upon the fragility of the human body, the role of re-creations within the documentary tradition, and the medium and history of photography.
About the Artist
Cannon Bernáldez is a photographer based in Mexico City, where she runs the Literna Mágica studio. She has exhibited at galleries and cultural centers in Latin America, the United States, Russia and France. Her solo exhibitions include shows at the Nacho López Gallery of Mexico’s National Photography Archive (2005); the Images du Pole in Orléans, France (2004); and the Alliance Française Gallery in Mexico City (2003). Her work is included in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University; and, in Mexico City, at the Centro de la Imagen, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, the Museo Universitario del Chopo and Fundación Cultural Televisa. Winner of the 12th Mexican Biennial of Photography in 2006, Bernáldez has received two Young Creators scholarships from Mexico’s National Arts and Culture Endowment. Her other awards include honorable mention at the Visual Arts National Biennial, Merida (2002), the Omnilife Cultural Foundation Award (honorable mention, 2001), the Fernando Benítez National Award of Journalism and Culture (2001) and the Body and Fruit Photographic Contest (2000).
About the Curator
Jesse Lerner is a filmmaker, curator and scholar based in Los Angeles. His short films Natives (1991, with Scott Sterling), T.S.H. (2004) and Magnavoz (2006) and the feature-length experimental documentaries Frontierland/Fronterilandia (1995, with Rubén Ortiz-Torres), Ruins (1999), The American Egypt (2001), Atomic Sublime (2010) and The Absent Stone (2013, with Sandra Rozental) have won numerous prizes at film festivals in the United States, Latin America and Japan, and have screened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery in Washington DC, and the Sundance, Rotterdam and Los Angeles film festivals. His films were featured in mid-career surveys at New York’s Anthology Film Archives and Mexico’s Cineteca Nacional. He has curated projects and exhibitions for Mexico’s Palacio Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, and the Robert Flaherty Seminar. His books include The Shock of Modernity, F is for Phony: Fake Documentary and Truth’s Undoing (with Alexandra Juhasz), and The Maya of Modernism. Jesse Lerner is a professor of media studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA.
Tags: Cannon Bernaldez, Fall 2016, Jesse Lerner, Lenzner Gallery
- Far from Indochine
Guest curated by Chương-Đài Võ
September 10–December 9, 2016
Saturday, September 10, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Nichols Gallery, Broad Center
Lecture by Guest Curator, Chương-Đài Võ
Wednesday, September 7 at 11 a.m.
Room 210, Broad Hall
Artist Lecture: Site and the Imaginary
Saturday, September 10 at 1:30 p.m.
Broad Center Performance Space, Broad Center
Patty Chang and David Kelley join us to discuss their collaborative video work Route 3, which is currently on view at the Pitzer College Art Galleries in the Far from Indochine exhibition, and a selection of other projects. While the pair work across a wide range of mediums and disciplines, from sculpture, drawing and photography to film, performance and new media, at the core of their collaboration is the intersection of site and the imaginary.
Route 3 is their recent video about a newly completed highway in rural Laos. Connecting China to Thailand through the former Golden Triangle, the new highway has accelerated Chinese development of Lao agricultural and gambling industries, and the migration of rural Lao minority populations to the growing roadside towns. The video considers the enigmatic changes in the visual landscape through performance and sculpture.
Panel Discussion: Modernism: Western Fantasies of the Orient
Wednesday, October 5 at 11 a.m.
Broad Center Performance Space, Broad Center
Panelists: John Tain, Curator, Modern and Contemporary Collections, Getty Research Institute; Wendy Cheng, Assistant Professor, American Studies, Scripps College; Viet Le, Artist and Professor, California College of the Arts; and Dewey Ambrosino, Artist and Professor, CalArts and Art Center College of Art and Design.
Generous funding for this event is provided by the Pitzer College Campus Life Committee.
Far from Indochine engages with the myths and ideas that shaped modernism and inform contemporary imaginings of Southeast Asia. In conversation with the recent 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, the exhibition brings together five artists from France and the U.S. Through film, photography, sculpture and embroidered cloth, these artists provoke questions about perceptions of and in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The exhibition is an assemblage of illegible screens that recall and refract fantasies about another world.
Organized by curator Chương-Đài Võ, Far from Indochine features three projects by Dewey Ambrosino, Patty Chang and David Kelley, and Frédéric Dialynas Sanchez and Jean-Sébastien Grill.
Route 3, a film by Patty Chang and David Kelley, takes viewers along a new Silk Road that serves as a stage for local and transnational imaginings about modernity in Laos. Multiple storylines and images pop in and out of the frames, continually interrupting each other and unsettling narratives of economic development.
The installation Hiding in the Light by Dewey Ambrosino offers a ghostly dance of night-vision photographs of an insect farm in Cambodia, and a sculpture of a Hindu and Buddhist protector deity. The juxtaposition of the mundane and the spiritual aligns with centuries-old practices that view the micro within the infinite time and space of the cosmic.
Triangle, by Frédéric Dialynas Sanchez and Jean-Sébastien Grill, plays with the celebratory and conflicting politics of nationalism by merging the Cambodian, Vietnamese and Laotian flags. The billboard-size cloth decontextualizes political symbols, appropriating the authority of the state and advertisements for the desires and platitudes of global capitalism.
Far from Indochine addresses definitions of the modern and the contemporary, the blurry boundaries between appropriation and innovation, and artistic and curatorial strategies in and about Asia. The exhibition originated as part of the Curatorial Opportunity Program at New Art Center in Newtonville, MA.
About the Artists
Dewey Ambrosino received undergraduate degrees in Sculpture and Industrial Design from University of Illinois, Chicago, and an MFA in Art from CalArts. Based in Los Angeles, he is a current faculty member at CalArts and Art Center College of Design. His practice examines the relationship between aesthetic phenomena and cultural conditioning through a wide variety of media. Ambrosino has performed and exhibited throughout the US, Europe and Asia.
Patty Chang works primarily with performance and video art. She has had solo exhibitions at institutions such as Museum of Modern Art, New York; New Museum, New York, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museet Moderna, Stockholm, Sweden; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Fri-Art Centre d’Art Contemporain Kunsthalle, Fribourg, Switzerland. Chang is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient.
Jean-Sébastien Grill is a graphic designer based in Nancy, France. An advocate of “Do It Yourself” and nomadism, Grill studied visual arts at ESAL in Metz and Épinal (2002/2007). Since 2010, he and Frédéric Dialynas Sanchez have worked together on projects in Geneva, Dijon, Mosset, Saigon and Shanghai. Their video “Night at The Observatory” was shown in Amsterdam while their flip book “Night on Earth” was published in (Re)Collecting the Vietnam War, a special issue of The Asian American Literary Review.
David Kelley’s work is research-based, internationally produced video installation and photography. His recent projects dealt with themes of infrastructure space, modernization, landscape, the margins of art history and the instrumentalization of art in the built environment. His work has been shown at Museum of Modern Art in New York, DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA, Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles, MAAP Space in Brisbane, Bank in Shanghai and Beirut in Cairo. Kelley is assistant professor of art at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
Frédéric Dialynas Sanchez lives and works in France and Vietnam. He completed post-graduate studies in Lyon (ENBA, 2008/2009) and Shanghai (École Offshore, 2013/2014). His work focuses on abstraction, collective identities and cultural bricolage. He has participated in numerous projects in Saigon, Hanoi, Shanghai, New York, Boston, Montréal, Fujiyoshida, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Vienna and Paris.
About the Curator
Chương-Đài Võ is an independent curator based in Hong Kong, where she works for Asia Art Archive as the Researcher for Southeast Asia. Her exhibitions have been selected in curatorial competitions sponsored by apexart in New York City, New Art Center in the Boston area, and Dorsky Gallery in Long Island City. She is a former Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has received fellowships and grants from Asian Cultural Council, Fulbright Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities and University of California Pacific Rim Research Program. She has a PhD from University of California, San Diego, and a BA from Johns Hopkins University.
Tags: Chương-Đài Võ, David Kelley, Dewey Ambrosino, Fall 2016, Frédéric Dialynas Sanchez, Jean-Sébastien Grill, Nichols Gallery, Patty Chang