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Silvia Kolbowski
After Hiroshima Mon Amour
Sep 20 - Nov 1, 2008

Structured around French director Alain Resnaisʼ classic account of post-war Hiroshima, Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), Silvia Kolbowskiʼs After Hiroshima Mon Amour is a 22-minute video that examines the aftermath of 9/11 and the ideology of American militarism and neglect, yet, like its classic referent, is set in Japan and seen from a French perspective. Thick with narrative and cognitive disjunction and paratextual confusion, Kolbowskiʼs abbreviated translation of Hiroshima Mon Amour is a time-based montage that incorporates dramatic passages carefully rendered to replicate sequences from Resnaisʼ film, as well as a re-mix of the original score, text from Marguerite Durasʼ original screenplay and synopsis, and found footage of American intervention abroad and in-action at home.

LA><ART’s programs are made possible with the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Peter Norton Family Foundation, The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, Danielson Foundation, The Audrey and Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation, Campari, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, ForYourArt, Uber.com, The Standard Downtown LA, and the LA><ART Board of Directors, Producers Council, Curators Council, founding members, and patrons.

This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

 

Presented with generous support from

Press Release | download PDF

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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LA><ART PRESENTS THE DEBUT OF SILVIA KOLBOWSKIʼS AFTER HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR AND A NEWLY COMMISSIONED PROJECT BY LOS ANGELES-BASED ARTIST KARA TANAKA

 

Silvia Kolbowski, A Japanese man and a French woman, Hiroshima, 1959, 2008, inkjet on aluminum Dibond, 24 x 16 inches, (Photographic production: Jeff Barnett-Winsby) courtesy of the artist and LA><ART, Los Angeles; and

 

Kara Tanaka, Dissolver (study), 2008, courtesy of the artist and LA><ART, Los Angeles

 

September 20 – November 1, 2008

 

Silvia Kolbowski: After Hiroshima Mon Amour

Curated by Christopher Bedford

 

“It is funny about wars, they ought to be different but they are not.” Gertrude Stein, Wars I Have Seen, 1945

 

A peaceful anti-war demonstration in the streets of an unidentified American city in the 21st century, with subtitles that situate the action in Japan; an armored Humvee barreling down the streets of Bagdad, accompanied by solemn text lamenting a love lost; an Asian woman we are told is a man; a Japanese man played by an actor of indeterminate ethnic origin; scavenged night-vision documentary footage, and grainy details of skin heaving and sweating. Structured around French director Alain Resnaisʼ classic account of post-war Hiroshima, Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), Silvia Kolbowskiʼs After Hiroshima Mon Amour is a 22-minute video that examines the aftermath of 9/11 and the ideology of American militarism and neglect, yet, like its classic referent, is set in Japan and seen from a French perspective. Thick with narrative and cognitive disjunction and paratextual confusion, Kolbowskiʼs abbreviated translation of Hiroshima Mon Amour is a time-based montage that incorporates dramatic passages carefully rendered to replicate sequences from Resnaisʼ film, as well as a re-mix of the original score, text from Marguerite Durasʼ original screenplay and synopsis, and found footage of American intervention abroad and in-action at home. The consistent asymmetry of text and image, of narration and action, and of character and actor invites various points of identification with the narrative and with individual characters, allowing the viewer to inhabit a variety of subjectivities – French, Japanese, Arab, Caucasian, Black, Latino, etc. – consecutively or even simultaneously. This strategy is also at play in a selection of related photographs that stage these various displacements as still images.

 

Just as the borders between race, class and gender blur and morph throughout After Hiroshima Mon Amour, so the video interweaves two discrete historical moments – the aftermath of World War II and the aftermath of 9/11 – to establish with uncanny power the unspeakable truth of the present: it is simply a reenactment of the recent past too easily and too long forgotten.

Silvia Kolbowski is A New York based artist. Recent exhibitions include Inadequate...Like...Power, at Seccession in Vienna (2004) and An Inadequate History of Conceptual Art at the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw (2007). Her work has been included in group exhibitions in venues throughout the world such as the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, White Columns in New York, the Barbican Art Gallery in London, and the Kunstverein Hamburg, and, in 2000, she was included in the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

 

House of Campari presents LA><ART Project Space

 

Kara Tanaka: Dissolver

 

Marking the artistʼs first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, where she currently lives and works, Kara Tanaka will mount Dissolver, a large-scale free-standing sculptural installation based on the designs and prototypes of contemporary space exploration. Pursuing the artistʼs interests in the cyclical birth-and-death drama of Buddhist belief, Tanakaʼs project deploys these ideas of a disembodied self to investigate their logic in the context of an experimental mission to outer space. Through its allusions, the vessel suggests a proposed plan for future travel into space that the artist has revealed to function as a space vessel designed for near-infinite human travel. Its mission is made possible by the existence of a storehouse consciousness, or a traveling packet of energy that transmigrates from one life to the next. By inserting these energy units into the internal machine of Dissolver, human consciousness can take advantage of this transport vessel and become an integral component of its mission to use technological advancements in consciousness and space exploration to disrupt the flow of cyclical human existence.

 

Responding largely to recent developments in privatized space travel and enmeshed within the narratives of Buddhist doctrine, Tanakaʼs staging of this object investigates the discourses of transcendence as they pervade both science fiction and eastern religious philosophy. This examination of energy – conscious, karmic, recycled – as well as the passages through the voids of both space and time, is herein applied to reinterpret these narratives through sculptural form, conflating concepts of transmigration and enlightenment with the logic of fantasy and space travel.

Kara Tanaka received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2008, BA from the University of California, Irvine in 2005, and a Postgraduate Diploma from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2006. Recent exhibitions include Mad Amour, a two-person show with Marco Rios at Simon Preston Gallery, New York. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions both nationally and internationally and she will be featured in the forthcoming California Biennial (CB08) at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach.

 

LA><ART PUBLIC PROGRAM Exhibition walk-through with Silvia Kolbowski and Christopher Bedford

 

September 20, 6pm Artist Silvia Kolbowski and guest curator Christopher Bedford will lead an

exhibition walk-through of After Hiroshima Mon Amour, followed by an opening reception for Kolbowski and Kara Tanaka.

 

About LA><ART

 

Responding to Los Angelesʼ cultural climate, LA><ART questions given contexts for the exhibition of contemporary art, architecture and design. With a renewed vision for the potential of independent art spaces, LA><ART provides a center for interdisciplinary discussion and interaction and for the production and exhibition of new exploratory work. LA><ART offers a space for provocation, dialogue and confrontation by practices on the ground in LA and abroad. LA><ART is a hub for artists based on flexibility, transition, spontaneity and change. The space responds to an urgency and obligation to provide an accessible exhibition space for contemporary artists, architects and designers.

LA><ARTʼs programs are made possible with the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Peter Norton Family Foundation, The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, Danielson Foundation, The Audrey and Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation, Campari, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Eileen Harris Norton, The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, ForYourArt, Uber.com, The Standard Downtown LA, and the LA><ART Board of Directors, Producers Council, Curators Council, founding members, and patrons.

 

This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

 

Upcoming: November 15, 2008 – January 3, 2009 Rubén Ortiz Torres: High ʼnʼ Lo and Julio Cesar Morales: Interrupted Passage

 

LA><ART is located at 2640 S. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034 T.310.559.0166 F.310.559.0167 office@laxart.org www.laxart.org

 

LA><ART is open Tuesday through Saturday 11am – 6pm.