October 7, 2017 - University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) - JJ PEET: THE VACANT AMERICAN
October 7, 2017

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)

JJ PEET, REGULATED VIEWING (still), 2017. HD video, color, silent, 28:30 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.

JJ PEET
THE VACANT AMERICAN
September 13–October 29, 2017

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)
2155 Center Street
Berkeley, CA 94720
USA

bampfa.org
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The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) presents a major site-specific video commission from the multi-media artist JJ PEET. Comprising two separate presentations—one of which was specifically made for BAMPFA’s monumental outdoor screen—JJ PEET: THE VACANT AMERICAN exemplifies PEET's interest in engaging with the social and political realities of our time, while fluctuating between documentary and subjective approaches to representation. The project inaugurates On the Hour, a new series featuring contemporary artists who have been invited to create original work for BAMPFA’s exterior LED screen.

THE VACANT AMERICAN features two experimental videos. REGULATED VIEWING, appearing on the outdoor screen, draws on footage from PEET's travels across the country to explore and record what is transpiring around him, whether it is the detritus he comes across in unsuspecting places, the shoes of various individuals that suggest a striking discrepancy in economic class, grain silos in the Midwest, or amusing cat shows. He describes the work as being as much about his resistance to the camera as it is about using this tool to examine the myriad properties of vision. Like all of PEET's work, REGULATED VIEWING engages directly with contemporary social and political undercurrents, while also inviting broader considerations about the nature of representation and surveillance. As PEET describes it, his work presents “leaks in reality” that are captured through his own distinctive approach to observational journalism.

REGULATED VIEWING screens at on-the-hour intervals on BAMPFA’s outdoor screen through October 29. A companion presentation—FiLTER_Animation, which interprets similar subject matter through PEET's intricate hand-drawn animations—screens inside the museum during the same period. Both videos were conceived by PEET specifically for BAMPFA’s unique screening spaces, reflecting the institution’s role as one of the Bay Area’s premier venues for experimental film and video.

“By launching our On the Hour series with site-specific videos by such an inventive, multi-faceted artist, BAMPFA is fulfilling the potential of our new facility to present diverse artworks that expand our audience’s appreciation of contemporary media forms and formats,” said Director Lawrence Rinder. “Our partnership with JJ extends BAMPFA’s longstanding commitment to supporting cutting-edge work through a robust contemporary commissioning program.”

“JJ PEET's innovative approach to contemporary artistic practice makes him an ideal artist to inaugurate On the Hour, a series that leverages BAMPFA’s distinctive capacity to present large-scale experimental video projects,” said Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis Matrix curator. “THE VACANT AMERICAN typifies PEET's inquisitiveness about the aesthetic dimensions of contemporary social environments, inviting viewers to contemplate how artists amplify our understanding of the world around us.”

 

Support
On the Hour / JJ PEET​: THE VACANT AMERICAN is organized by Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis Matrix Curator. The project is made possible with major support from VIA Art Fund.

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THE VACANT AMERICAN
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