April 19, 2016 - MIT List Visual Arts Center - List Projects: Narrative Color
April 19, 2016

MIT List Visual Arts Center

Mareike Bernien and Kerstin Schroedinger, Rainbow’s Gravity, 2014. HD video, color, 33 minutes. Courtesy the artist.

List Projects: Narrative Color
April 19–May 22, 2016

Gallery talk: April 20, 6pm, with Mareike Bernien
Bakalar Gallery

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List Projects: Narrative Color presents films and videos by Bernadette Corporation, Mareike Bernien and Kerstin Schroedinger, KP Brehmer, Derek Jarman, and Bruce and Norman Yonemoto. Color has a particular relationship to narrative and speech in this focused selection of work spanning the 1970s to the present. Each artist in the exhibition uses a non-traditional narrative structure to present a sequence of events or actions informed by, and informing, the use of color. This distinguishes these works from the legacy of artists’ films made prior to the 1960s which primarily treat color non-narratively and as something that exists independently of language. The works’ contents range from investigations into capital and ideology in postwar Germany to Hollywood melodrama and contemporary fashion.

Mareike Bernien and Kerstin Schroedinger’s Rainbow’s Gravity (2014) uses Agfacolor Neu film stock and its three layers of emulsion—cyan, magenta, and yellow—to narrate the story of its production in Nazi Germany, its role in fascist propaganda, and how the chemicals that comprise it are tied to warfare. Hell Frozen Over (2000) by Bernadette Corporation juxtaposes scenes from a highly stylized fashion shoot with images of Sylvère Lotringer, positioned on a frozen lake, lecturing on the symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé. Derek Jarman’s Wittgenstein (1993) includes a dark sound stage, intensely colored props and costumes, and a green Martian interlocutor to present an achronological narrative of the philosopher’s life and writings. KP Brehmer’s Ideale Landschaft (Ideal Landscape) (1970) features landscaped gardens and their abstracted color palates with commentary by Brehmer on how these each operate in bourgeois and socialist contexts. Bruce and Norman Yonemoto’s Green Card: An American Romance (1982) plays on Hollywood cinema’s use of color in a melodrama about a young Japanese woman, Summie, whose wish to be an artist in America leads her to marry for a green card.

List Projects: Narrative Color is curated by Alise Upitis, Assistant Curator, Public Art and Exhibitions, MIT List Visual Arts Center

Support for this exhibition has been generously provided by the Council for the Arts at MIT, the Office of the Associate Provost at MIT, Terry & Rick Stone, MIT School of Architecture + Planning, the MIT List Visual Arts Center Advisory Committee, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and many generous individual donors.

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