February 3, 2015 - University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) - Eric Baudelaire, presented with Kadist Art Foundation
February 3, 2015

Eric Baudelaire, presented with Kadist Art Foundation

Eric Baudelaire, Letters to Max (still), 2014. HD video, color, sound, 103 minutes.

Eric Baudelaire / MATRIX 257
February 4–21, 2015

PFA Theater
2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720

T +1 510 642 0808

Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco
3295 20th Street 
San Francisco, CA 94110

T +1 415 738 8668


The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) and Kadist Art Foundation present MATRIX 257, featuring the work of French-American artist Eric Baudelaire, who lives and works in Paris. Baudelaire’s work explores intricate facets of representation through a keen unraveling of entangled narratives. The first of a series of off-site projects presented by BAM/PFA while it prepares to move to its new building, opening in early 2016, the exhibition unfolds in two parts: a pair of film screenings at the PFA Theater on February 4 and 5 and the presentation of The Secession Sessions at Kadist Art Foundation in San Francisco from February 7 to 21. 

In his films The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images (2011) and its sequel, The Ugly One (2013), Baudelaire complicates the distinctions between documentary and narrative genres to reflect on the real and imagined memories of the protagonists, whose lives become dislocated in time and place. The Anabasis examines the intertwined stories of Japanese New Wave filmmaker Masao Adachi, who joined the Japanese Red Army in Beirut in 1974, and May Shigenobu, daughter of the leader of the same left-wing revolutionary faction. For The Ugly One, also set in Beirut, Baudelaire collaborated with Adachi on the storyline, which pivots around two lovers and former resistance fighters who attempt to remember and make sense of their pasts.

The Secession Sessions explores another place caught in a contested narrative—the disputed region of Abkhazia, located along the eastern shores of the Black Sea, about which Baudelaire states: “To many Georgians, the breakaway State is a rogue nationalist regime, an amputated part of Georgia. To the Abkhaz, independence saved them from cultural extinction after years of Stalinist repression and Georgian domination. The Secession Sessions does not seek to write an impossible objective historiography. The project starts with this observation: Abkhazia has had a territorial and human existence for 20 years, and yet it will in all likelihood remain in limbo for the foreseeable future, which makes the self-construction of its narrative something worth exploring.” Consisting of a new film, Letters to Max (2014); a performative “Anembassy” of Abkhazia open to the public and staffed by the former foreign minister of Abkhazia, Maxim Gvinjia (also the star of the film); and a program of conversations and public events, The Secession Sessions invites visitors to investigate the questions of statehood and representation through the prism of the stateless state of Abkhazia. 

Screenings at the PFA Theater
February 4, 7pm
The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images, Eric Baudelaire (France/Japan/Lebanon, 2011)
Introduction: Apsara DiQuinzio
In conversation: Eric Baudelaire and Joseph del Pesco

February 5, 7pm
The Ugly One, Eric Baudelaire (France/Lebanon/Japan, 2013)
Introduction:Joseph del Pesco
In conversation: Eric Baudelaire and Apsara DiQuinzio

The Secession Sessions at Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco
A project by Eric Baudelaire with Maxim Gvinjia
February 7–21

The Abkhazian Anembassy
With Maxim Gvinjia, former Foreign Minister and Anambassador of the Abkhazian Republic in San Francisco
Wednesday–Saturday, 1–3pm

Letters to Max
Eric Baudelaire with Maxim Gvinjia (Abkhazia, 2014)
Wednesday–Friday at 3pm and 4:45pm, and Saturday at 3pm

The San Francisco Sessions
A program of talks, public events, and workshops with scholars and artists

February 7, 5pm
Session 1: The Anembassy Is Open
With Karen Fiss, Maxim Gvinjia, Eric Baudelaire, Apsara DiQuinzio, Joseph del Pesco

February 11, 6pm
Session 2: Secession Made in the USA
With members of Cascadia independence movement and Joshua Clover

February 14, 5pm
Session 3: Performance As Politics and Vice Versa
With Julia Bryan-Wilson, David Buuck, Aaron Gach

February 18, 6pm
Session 4: Georgian Voices
With Harsha Ram and guests

February 21, 5pm
Session 5: Present Future of Emancipation
With Tarek Elhaik and Pheng Cheah

For more detailed information about these programs visit our website

Eric Baudelaire / MATRIX 257 is co-organized by Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator, and Joseph del Pesco, curator at Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco. The MATRIX Program is made possible by a generous endowment gift from Phyllis C. Wattis and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees.

The Secession Sessions is a coproduction of the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA); Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway; and Bétonsalon—Centre d’art et de recherche, Paris. Additional support is provided by Région Ile-de-France; Image / Mouvement, Centre national des arts plastiques; and Kadist Art Foundation, Paris and San Francisco.

Press contact: Peter Cavagnaro, pcavagnaro [​at​] berkeley.edu.


Eric Baudelaire at BAM/PFA and Kadist Art Foundation
University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)
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