Chantal Akerman
29 March - 30 April 2008
New York

Chantal Akerman

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Overview

Women from Antwerp in November, 2007 is a two-channel installation which will be on view in the South Gallery. The work was originally commissioned for inclusion in Akerman's first American museum survey which is currently touring the U.S.: Chantal Akerman: Moving through Time and Space, on view through the end of March at the Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, and opening May 1st at MIT's List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; then traveling to Miami, St. Louis, and San Francisco through 2010.

Comprised of two monumentally scaled projections alternating between color and black-and-white, Women from Antwerp in November features short vignettes of women smoking at night in various street settings. These short narratives – presented together as a 'landscape' in a long horizontal, split-screen format – offer a compelling array of psychological and emotional scenarios of 'before' and 'after' as women engage in wordless social interplay, lingering on the sidewalk, walking in the rain, ambling in from an evening out. On the opposite wall, a single-frame portrait -- a 'face' -- shows a languid four-minute loop filmed in black and white of a young woman lighting, smoking and extinguishing her cigarette.

CHANTAL AKERMAN 
Opening reception: Saturday, March 29th, 6-8 pm

Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to present a new installation by the reknowned Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman, which will be on view from March 29th through April 30th , 2008.

Women from Antwerp in November, 2007 is a two-channel installation which will be on view in the South Gallery. The work was originally commissioned for inclusion in Akerman's first American museum survey which is currently touring the U.S.: Chantal Akerman: Moving through Time and Space, on view through the end of March at the Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, and opening May 1st at MIT's List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; then traveling to Miami, St. Louis, and San Francisco through 2010.

Comprised of two monumentally scaled projections alternating between color and black-and-white, Women from Antwerp in November features short vignettes of women smoking at night in various street settings. These short narratives – presented together as a 'landscape' in a long horizontal, split-screen format – offer a compelling array of psychological and emotional scenarios of 'before' and 'after' as women engage in wordless social interplay, lingering on the sidewalk, walking in the rain, ambling in from an evening out. On the opposite wall, a single-frame portrait -- a 'face' -- shows a languid four-minute loop filmed in black and white of a young woman lighting, smoking and extinguishing her cigarette.

"I made five moving images that work together like a landscape," Akerman explains. You can imagine what has come before and what might come after, but each short passage is, by itself, abstract and unsettled."

Women from Antwerp in November is redolent of classic 1940s/1950s French and American film noir, touching on Akerman's foundation in feminist filmmaking and her deep connection to a highly personal, yet distant, cinematic point of view. A meditation on classic psychological props and on reflective female gestures, it employs slow moving action and a compelling attention to detail, light, and visual effect to conjure an atmosphere of nostalgia and a distinct and mesmerizing cinematic experience.

Chantal Akerman was born in Brussels in 1950 and currently lives and works in Paris. One of the most important filmmakers of her generation, she has been a leading figure in European experimental cinema since the early seventies, employing a rejection of classical conceptions of narrative and a variety of genres over the past three decades to portray the theme of womanhood, family, domestic life, and one's own relationship with history. From early films such as Saute ma ville (1968); Jeanne Deilman (1975), Je Tu Il Elle (1975), onwards, she demonstrated an interest in the everyday that followed from a trajectory of postwar neorealist cinema to the feminist rewriting of women's history in the seventies.

Over the past decade, since the early nineties, Akerman has used video and installation in her exploration of film form, in such works as D'Est (1995); Sud (1998/9); From the Other Side (2002) ; and Marcher a cote de ses lacets dans un Frigidaire vide (2004).

She is the author of several books, including A Family in Brussels, a fictional stream of consciousness text first performed as a monologue in Paris and Brussels, and published in French by Les Editions de l'Arche, Paris and in English by Dia Art Foundation.

Current projects include a solo exhibition scheduled to open this summer at Camden Arts Center, UK from July 11 through September 14th. Her U.S. survey Chantal Akerman: Moving through Time and Space continues its run through 2010, opening to the public on May 2nd at MIT's List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA where it will be on view through July 6th; then traveling to the Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL from October 16th thru January 18th; the Contemporary Museum of Art, St. Louis, MO, May 8 thru August 2nd 2009 ; and The Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA, from October 9 – January 2010. A catalogue for the exhibition has been published to coincide with the tour, with texts by Terrie Sultan, Bill Arning, Rina Carvajal. An exhibition of her work will also be on view in Portugal this summer.

Her work can also currently be seen in Ellipsis: Chantal Akerman, Lilli Dujourie, and Francesca Woodman, curated by Lynne Cooke, which was shown at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City though the end of January, and is currently on view at the Konsthal Lund Sweden through April 6th, and will travel to Contemporary Art Centre, Dundee, Scotland from April through June 2008. A catalogue with texts by Lynne Cooke and Jan Avgikos is being published on the occasion of this exhibition. She is also included in the group exhibition WACK!: Art and the Feminist Revolution, now on view at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, NY thru June 2008, traveling to the Vancouver Art Gallery, BC from October thru January '09. She will participate in Art Focus 2008 in Jerusalem this Fall.

Recently, solo exhibitions of Akerman's work have been seen at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2006); Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ (2006); Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires/ Malba, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2005); and Ecole superieure des Beaux Arts de Toulouse (2004).

Important earlier exhibitions include a retrospective survey, Chantal Akerman, held at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 2003, as well as the travelling tour of the film D'EST , 1995 (a documentary of the transition from summer to winter across Germany, Poland, and Russia) which was seen at San Francisco MoMA; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Galerie national du Jeu de Paume, Paris; Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels; IVAM, Valencia; Kunstmuseum, Wolfburg; and The Jewish Museum, New York.

Her work has also been included in group exhibitions, such as Faces in the Crowd, Castello Di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Turin, Italy (2005) and Whitechapel Gallery, London (2004); Fast Forward: Media Art from the Goetz Collection, ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany (2003); Crossing the Line, Kunsthalle Vienna (2003); the 2002 Documenta XI, Kassel, Germany, and the 2001 Venice Bienniale, as well as numerous international film festivals.

Please join us at the opening reception on Saturday, March 29th, from 6-8 pm.

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