Steve McQueen: Speaking in Tongues and CAMERA: Chang Yung Ho /Wang Jian Wei / Yang Fudong

Steve McQueen: Speaking in Tongues and CAMERA: Chang Yung Ho /Wang Jian Wei / Yang Fudong

Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris

February 3, 2003

Steve McQueen
Speaking in Tongues

Chang Yung Ho /Wang Jian Wei / Yang Fudong

07/02/2003 - 23/03/2003

ARC/ Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
11, avenue du Président Wilson
tel: 33 1 53 67 40 50
fax: 33 1 47 23 35 98

McQueen, 7th November, 2001, projection d’une diapositive, son, 25′,
Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris

Following his contribution to the Life Live exhibition in 1995, this is
Steve McQueen’s first one-person show in an institution Paris.
Since the
early 1990s McQueen’s approach has centred mainly on the making of films drawing on a range of media including super 8, 16mm, 35mm and video and
designed to be shown in meticulously arranged installations. His first
films have an experimental character. Here he presents four recent installations: radical formal propositions using such varied techniques
medium close-ups, masking and single frame editing.

Specially created for the exhibition, Once Upon a Time
explores the notion
of knowledge. Prepared in association with William J. Clancey, NASA
researcher and advisor to the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) laboratory, and William J. Samarin, linguist and professor emeritus in the anthropology department at the University of Toronto.
The work is based on images obtained by the 1977 space probe Voyager,
by NASA as part of its search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The
outcome is intended to sum up the current state of knowledge, against which the artists sets a theoretically unintelligible glossolalia*.

At the core of the other three installations are the themes of solitude and isolation:

- using an extremely pared-down monologue, 7th November
recounts a tragic story involving two brothers

- Girls Tricky shows composer-musician Tricky in a moment
of intense
concentration during a recording session

- Illuminer reveals the body of the artist in a hotel

In a totally direct way the artist confronts man with the conscious and
unconscious forces that drive him. Without seeking to freeze reality, he
highlights – in the same way as jazz – those moments in
which reality cuts free of consciousness while still continuing to produce meaning.

For this artist reality is more difficult to approach than fantasy:
“Suspense is always with us,” he says. “The unpredictable is our world.”

* A trance phenomenon, also called “speaking in tongues”: the subject
utters a succession of incomprehensible sounds or words.

In the framework of the exhibition Steve McQueen “Speaking in
ARC/ Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris will organize a discussion
devoted to the Voyager Mission (1977) February 7 2003 at 2.00pm the
following renowned scientists will participate:

Frank Drake : Radio astronomer, President of the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence)

William Clancey : Computer scientist specialized in artificial intelligence (NASA & West Florida University)

Ann Druyan : Creative director (NASA), with Carl Sagan, for the conception of the Voyager Mission

André Brahic : Astrophysicist (University Paris VII), Director of the Gamma-Gravitation Laboratory of the Nuclear Energy Commission (to be confirmed)

Luc Steels : Computer scientist specialized in artificial
(University of Brussels), Director of Sony Computer Science Laboratory

William Samarin : Linguist specialized in glossolalia,
(Toronto University)

Free entrance, information & reservation : 01 53 67 40 83

Curators: Hans Ulrich Obrist & Angeline Scherf

Images available in slides and digital format (jpg, 300 dpi)


CAMERA is an exhibition born of the collaboration between architect Chang Yung Ho and two of China’s most important contemporary artists,
videoartist Yang Fudong and multimedia artist Wang Jian Wei. In its
exploration of the relationship between architecture and video, CAMERA invites the viewer to test out new approaches to the spatial presentation
of the image.

Playing on the two meanings of camera – “room” in the original
Latin and
the camera we know today – Chang Yung Ho has designed four architectural
modules, projection rooms in which exhibition visitors both look and are looked at. Each of the four spaces is named after a brand of camera – Polaroid*, Leica*, Nikon* and Seagull* – in reference to four distinct geographical zones: the United States, Germany, Japan and China, in that order.

For each module the architect has had recourse to different materials: sheet metal for Leica, clear Plexiglas for Polaroid, wood, metal and mirrors for Nikon and rice paper for Seagull.

The new video works by Yang Fudong and Wang Jian Wei have
been specially
created for the modules in which they are to be shown.

Living respectively in Shanghai and Peking, these two artists draw their
inspiration from contemporary Chinese society. Wang Jian Wei’s Square
(DV, 13′) and Theater (DV, 20′) show recent social change as revealed by the collective anonymity of public spaces. In Liu Lan (35 mm, 10′) and Honey (DV, 8′) Yang Fudong’s intimate narrative technique
focuses on the changing definition of the contemporary identity.

* Polaroid, Leica, Nikon and Seagull are registered trademarks

Curators: Hans Ulrich Obrist & Vivian Rehberg

Images available in slides and digital format (jpg, 300 dpi)

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Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris
February 3, 2003

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