Exhibition and Symposium: Morgan Fisher. The Frame and Beyond

Exhibition and Symposium: Morgan Fisher. The Frame and Beyond

Generali Foundation

Morgan Fisher, Cue Rolls, 1974, Film still.*

May 9, 2012

Exhibition and Symposium:
Morgan Fisher.
The Frame and Beyond

through July 29, 2012

Hours: Tue–Sun, public holidays
11am–6pm, Thu to 8pm

Generali Foundation
Wiedner Hauptstrasse 15
1040 Vienna, Austria

T +43 1 504 98 80
foundation [​at​] generali.at


Morgan Fisher (b. Washington, D.C., 1942; lives and works in Los Angeles) came to prominence in the early 1970s as an experimental filmmaker in the context of structuralist film, where the primary focus was not on the content to be represented but on an analysis of the medium itself. From the mid-1990s, based on a post-conceptual position, he turned to monochrome painting and installations of monochrome paintings.

Entirely foregoing the illusionism of narrative, Fisher reveals the conditions that underlie our perception, reflecting the production and constitution of the filmic image, as well as the relationship between film and time/space. The exhibition Morgan Fisher. The Frame and Beyond is accompanied by a selection of four films that have already been shown at international film festivals: Production Stills (1970), Picture and Sound Rushes (1973), Cue Rolls (1974), and the critically acclaimed Standard Gauge (1984).

The “frame” in the exhibition’s title refers not only to the film frame, but also to that of painting. The exhibition at the Generali Foundation includes two central series of paintings: the Italian Paintings (1999) and the New Alien Pendant Pair Paintings (2011), consisting of twelve monochrome canvases made for the Translations show at Museum Abteiberg (Mönchengladbach), created in response to the museum’s specific architectural spaces.

The two series highlight Fisher’s engagement with monochrome painting, the frame, the world inside and outside this frame, the relationship between figure and ground, and the specific relationship between work and viewer—themes that have been under close scrutiny since the abstraction of modernism and Minimalism.

The exhibition Morgan Fisher. The Frame and Beyond sheds light on the turn from film to painting in Fisher’s work. At the same time, it highlights the relevance of experimental film to a still-ongoing media critique and to attempts to revitalize painting in spite of immanent resistance.

Curated by Sabine Folie in collaboration with Ilse Lafer

Publication accompanying the exhibition
MORGAN FISHER  two exhibitions
Edited by Sabine Folie and Susanne Titz
With introductions by Sabine Folie and Susanne Titz, essays by Thom Andersen, Rainer Bellenbaum Sabeth Buchmann, Yve-Alain Bois, and short texts by Morgan Fisher.
Germ./Engl., 240 pages, numerous color and b & w illustrations
Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König

First edition of the writings
Edited by Sabine Folie and Susanne Titz
To be published in summer 2012
Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König

Realized in cooperation with Museum Abteiberg (Mönchengladbach).

Beyond the Frame: How and Why
May 11–12, 2012, 4–7pm
With Rainer Bellenbaum (critic, film maker), Sabeth Buchmann (art historian, art critic, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna), Morgan Fisher (artist), Gabriele Jutz (film theorist, University of Applied Arts Vienna), Philippe-Alain Michaud (art historian, film curator, Centre Pompidou, Paris), and Constanze Ruhm (artist, professor at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
Moderation: Christian Höller (art critic, Vienna)

Morgan Fisher’s oeuvre is rooted in the context of structural film, and some of his earliest works in fact constitute paradigmatic examples of that genre. Its primary concern was a reflection on the medium itself, its specific qualities and mode of functioning, a general description that leads to a series of questions: How may the filmic apparatus, its components, or the constraints imposed by the film industry ever be fully exposed in a way that would produce more than just “yet another piece of film”? How may the medium be engaged so as to “expand” it, revealing its limits and limitations from the inside, as it were? How do Fisher’s films operate with materials (found footage as well as pictures shot for the purpose) without lapsing into an aesthetic of composition? And finally, which precursors to a post-conceptual painterly and, more generally, image-producing practice may we discover in Fisher’s early filmic works? Questions such as these mark the point of departure for the two-day symposium Beyond the Frame: How and Why; extensive discussions of individual aspects of his filmic oeuvre will chart approaches to his later, “non-filmic” works and open up perspectives on other cultural artifacts as well.

*Image above:
Morgan Fisher, Cue Rolls, 1974, Film still.
Courtesy Morgan Fisher and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne.

Exhibition and Symposium: Morgan Fisher. The Frame and Beyond
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May 9, 2012

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