April 26, 2013 - Wexner Center for the Arts - Paul Sietsema and Shimon Attie
April 26, 2013

Paul Sietsema and Shimon Attie

Left: Paul Sietsema, Brush painting (green), 2012. Enamel on dyed canvas, 27 x 26 1/2 inches. Terri and Michael Smooke. 
© Paul Sietsema. Courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery. Photo: Ron Amstutz. Right: Shimon Attie, MetroPAL.IS. (still), 2011. Video. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Paul Sietsema
Shimon Attie: Metro
May 4–August 4, 2013

Opening events: Friday, May 3
Opening reception: 6–9pm
Paul Sietsema and curator Christopher Bedford lead a
gallery tour at 5pm.
Shimon Attie leads a talk about the creation of his video installation MetroPAL.IS. at 7pm, Film/Video Theater.

Wexner Center for the Arts
The Ohio State University 
1871 N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43210

T 614 292 3535


The Wexner Center galleries feature a pair of solo exhibitions this summer, both the result of extensive Wexner Center artist residency support. Paul Sietsema is the most comprehensive account of the artist’s body of work to date in an exhibition organized by the Wexner Center with works supported by a Wexner Center Artist Residency Award, including a newly completed film as its centerpiece. Shimon Attie: MetroPAL.IS., an immersive multiple-channel HD video installation, tackles the Middle East conflict with characters cast from the Palestinian and Israeli communities in New York City; its complex editing and post-production work were completed during Attie’s residency through the center’s Film/Video Studio program in 2010.

Organized by the Wexner Center and curated by Christopher Bedford (former chief curator of exhibitions at the center and now Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University), Paul Sietsema surveys the Los Angeles–based artist’s major projects over the past five years, including the films Figure 3 (2008), Anticultural Positions (2009), Telegraph (2012), Encre chine (2012), and the as-yet-untitled new film produced with the support of Sietsema’s residency award. Sietsema’s meticulously researched and labor-intensive projects take shape slowly over several years, often resulting in a central film and a group of related works. In this case, the five films are accompanied by over 40 related drawings, paintings, and other works on paper, canvas, and board, including six new pieces. The exhibition as a whole maps the artist’s interests in the ambiguity of authorship and cultural production, the mutability of history, the idea of labor, and the effects of representation and replication on the meaning of objects and images. His work, noted critic Ken Johnson in the New York Times, “pertains to uncertainties with which most of us are familiar: what is real, what can we count on in these epistemologically slippery, hypermediated times?” Following its Wexner Center presentation, the exhibition travels to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, where it will be on view September 7, 2013 to January 5, 2014.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Wexner Center has produced, in close collaboration with the artist, a catalogue also titled Paul Sietsema, featuring essays by George Baker, associate professor of art history at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an editor of the art journal October; and Suzanne Hudson, assistant professor of art history at the University of Southern California; a conversation about the artist’s work among Sietsema, Christopher Bedford, and Bill Horrigan, the Wexner Center’s curator at large; and a foreword by Wexner Center Director Sherri Geldin.

MetroPAL.IS. is an immersive video installation that reconstructs the conventional view of Israeli-Palestinian relations as one of fundamental conflict. The work consists of eight 65-inch flatscreen monitors mounted vertically and arranged in a freestanding ellipse that surrounds viewers. This piece was commissioned by The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut. The larger-than-life-size characters appearing alone on each screen were cast from the Palestinian and Israeli communities in New York City. Dressed in outfits that reflect varied lifestyles and professions, each of the performers reads from a document created by Attie that combines sections of the Israeli Declaration of Independence (1948) and the Palestinian Declaration of Independence (1988). Attie’s new, hybrid document reveals a surprisingly significant overlap between the two original texts. In this way, MetroPAL.IS. serves to reconfigure the complexities of the intensely problematic Middle East conflict by foregrounding the similarities between the two documents and the participants’ shared identity as New Yorkers. The installation was created by Attie with photographer Vale Bruck and has been crafted and edited to create vocal variety; at times only one individual is speaking, at times two, or eight, or none. Viewers find themselves in a quasi “endless hall of mirrors,” of uncannily similar claims, assertions, and faces. A free gallery guide with an essay by Jennifer Lange, curator of the exhibition and the center’s Film/Video Studio program, accompanies the show.

Complete press information for both exhibitions.

More on Wexner Center Artist Residency Awards

Press contact
Jennifer Wray
T 614 247 6241 / jwray [​at​] wexarts.org

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Wexner Center for the Arts
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