Museum Opens Space for Film and Video Art
Until 2 February 2014
This summer the Video Room opens in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Every three months a new presentation of video works and digitized films from the museum’s collection of moving images will be shown here. There will also be works of art and objects related to the videos and films. The up-and-coming international artists Erkka Nissinen (Kerava 1975) and Nathaniel Mellors (Doncaster 1974) kick off the first presentation with their humorous and absurdist videos.
The recently acquired video ‘Polis (Pilot)’ (2012) by the Finnish artist Erkka Nissinen is the starting point for the first presentation. Nissinen is known for his absurdist films in which the language of the media plays an important role. During his period as artist in residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam he met the British artist Nathaniel Mellors. The two artists became friends, and developed a fascination with each other’s bizarre and humorous video works. Work by Nissinen and Mellors will be exhibited together in the Video Room for the first time. There will also be a display of drawings and photograms made in parallel to the videos.
‘Polis (Pilot)’ focuses on the utopian city of Polis, which was supposedly designed by Le Corbusier (1887-1965) and Albert Speer (1905-1981). The city is home to various characters, who find themselves in the most bizarre situations. The deliberately clumsy pictorial language of ‘Polis (Pilot)’ consists of computer animations and studio recordings of performances, combined with elements from games, science fiction and children’s programmes. Nissinen studied art in Finland and London and began his artist in residence stint in Amsterdam in 2007. As well as video works, he makes drawings that are reminiscent of storyboards or film scripts. Nissinen won the Illy Prize in Rotterdam in 2011.
Nathaniel Mellors’s video ‘Ourhouse Episode 3 - The Cure of Folly’ (2011) is part of a four-episode series shot in the English countryside, in which a group of strange people enter into all kinds of odd relationships with one another. In the third episode, which will be shown in the Video Room, Truson is convinced that he owns the ‘Venus of Hohle Fels’, the oldest figurative sculpture in the world. Then Addison appears and does everything he can to possess this object. As in Nissinen’s work, a layered and absurd story unfolds. Nonetheless the work has a more serious side. Mellors explains, ‘The seriousness of it is interesting. I sometimes think that satire has an almost moral motive. […] There’s a chain of consequence in a way, and I wanted it to be Cluedo -like in a sense- there are all of these different lines that run through it and it’s appealing to me to make these different fissures across it.’ Mellors studied at the Royal College of Art in London and at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. In 2011 he won the Cobra Kunstprijs Amstelveen.
The Collection of Moving Images
Since the museum acquired three 16mm films by the Belgian artist Pol Bury
(1922-2005) in 1972, film and video have been part of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection policy. Documentaries and recordings of performances and events are also included in the sizeable collection of moving images the museum has acquired so far. One fine example is the film made during Salvador Dalí’s visit to the museum in 1970. Video Room provides an area for a series of presentations centred on the museum’s collection of moving images. In the Video Room light will be shed on an artist’s oeuvre, a specific subject or the museum’s collection itself. In some cases the museum’s own works of art will be complemented with film and video works from public or private collections.
‘Ourhouse Episode 3 - The Cure of Folly’ by Mellors was commissioned by SMART Project Space, Amsterdam, with the support of The Netherlands Film Fund; Fonds B.K.V.B.; Eastside Projects, Birmingham; Matt’s Gallery, London; MONITOR, Rome; Galerie Diana Stigter, Amsterdam.
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