September 12, 2016 - Grazer Kunstverein - Beatrice Gibson
September 12, 2016

Grazer Kunstverein

Beatrice Gibson, Crippled Symmetries, 2015. 16mm film transferred to HD, surround sound, 26 minutes. Courtesy Laura Bartlett Gallery and LUX, London.

Beatrice Gibson
September 24–December 18, 2016

Grazer Kunstverein
Palais Trauttmansdorff
Burggasse 4
8010 Graz
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11am–6pm

T +43 316 834141
F +43 316 834142

As the dominant West no longer defines the global economy, notions around education have shifted.  With a different understanding of "trade" and "growth," children at a young age are confronted with new global systems less geared towards Western understanding. In response to the leitmotiv of this year’s steirischer herbst, the Grazer Kunstverein presents an elaborate solo exhibition by British artist and filmmaker Beatrice Gibson (born 1978, United Kingdom), who in her recent works has explored the structural parallels between pedagogy, avant-garde music and contemporary economics.

Gibson’s films are composite collages, blending social modes of working with a diverse range of references, from the experimental compositions of Robert Ashley and Cornelius Cardew to the modernist writings of William Gaddis and Gertrude Stein. Her exhibition at Grazer Kunstverein aims to bring together an array of her films from the past ten years. It is the first of its kind, with the artist presenting at The Members Library an additional selection of films by artists and filmmakers that inspire her practice such as Mary Helena Clark, Ben Russell, Laida Lertxundi, Leslie Thornton, Mati Diop and Mark Leckey.

In her work, Beatrice Gibson engages with a broad range of themes, but most are concerned with modes of production culled from modernist musical composition. Her primary sources are the avant-garde composers of the 1950s and 1960s such as Cornelius Cardew, John Cage and those linked to the Fluxus movement. Gibson’s projects are almost always participatory, incorporating co-creative and collaborative processes and ideas.

One example of this is Gibson’s work, The Tiger’s Mind (2012). A portrait of production process initiated by herself and typographer and designer Will Holder, and based on a score by Cornelius Cardew, this work presents itself as an abstract crime thriller. Set against the backdrop of a Brutalist villa, six characters—Tiger, Mind, Tree, Wind, Circle and a girl called Amy (the set, music, sounds, special effects, director and narration respectively)—battle one another for control of the film as it unfolds on screen. The film explores the relationships between these characters as they emerge and unfold: grappling, wrestling, and dreaming with one another.

Gibson is adept at mixing fiction and theory in her works. Her latest films F for Fibonacci (2014), Solo for Rich Man (2015, co-produced by the Grazer Kunstverein and winner of the 17th Baloise Art Prize at Art Basel) and Crippled Symmetries (2015) explore abstraction in music and in finance, taking American author William Gaddis' epic modernist novel JR (1975) as their departure point, together with the work of the little-known British experimental educator and composer John Paynter. In Gibson’s strangely prophetic take on JR (1975) the artist uses social satire to tell the story of an 11 year old capitalist who, with the unwitting help of his school's resident composer, creates an anonymous virtual empire using the school’s payphone. She links Gaddis’ fictional world with the work of composer John Paynter, famous for taking the likes of Cornelius Cardew, John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen into primary schools to extol the virtues of utopian post-war pedagogical movements and child-centred education.

Beatrice Gibson lives and works in London. Recent solo screenings and exhibitions include, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (2015); Statements, Art Basel (2015); Beatrice Gibson, Laura Bartlett Gallery (2014); Beatrice Gibson, Wilfried Lenz (2014); CAC Bretigny (2013); Index, The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm; The Showroom, London (2012); Kunstlerhaus Stuttgart (2010); The Serpentine Gallery (Sackler Center) (2010). Gibson's films have been screened at numerous experimental film venues and film festivals, both nationally and internationally. These include The Rotterdam International Film Festival, Experimenta, The London Film Festival, Wavelengths, The Toronto Film Festival, Projections, The New York Film Festival, Light Industry, New York; Anthology Film Archives, New York; and LA Film Forum. Gibson’s work was also recently included in Assembly, A Recent Survey of Artist's Film and Video in Britain, 2008–2013, Tate Britain (2014). Gibson has twice won the Rotterdam International Film Festival Tiger Award for short film. In 2013 she was shortlisted for the 2013–15 Max Mara Art Prize for Women and in 2015 won the 17th Baloise Art Prize, Art Basel.

Beatrice Gibson is the last exhibition under the directorship of Krist Gruijthuijsen and the last within our 30th anniversary program. It is co-produced with steirischer herbst.

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