The opening of the exhibition by Gabriel Lester at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen was at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, 11 February. The Suspension of Disbelief presentation was Lester’s first major solo exhibition in a museum setting.
From Saturday, 12 February 2011, the public could also experience this magical exhibition, which runs for almost three months. Lester has specially created an immersive total installation composed of a dozen or so new and earlier works that explore concepts such as fortune and misfortune, expectations, superstition, rituals, magical beliefs, prophecies and, most especially, destiny and fate. Fate and magical beliefs play a pivotal role in Suspension of Disbelief.
This exhibition seemed to suggest that the attribution of value to non-existent connections is one of the means of surviving in an unpredictable world. Lester’s installations and films presente various examples of people trying to fathom out fate.
Lester on IFFR
As a foretaste of his exhibition in Boijmans, one of Gabriel Lester’s films could be seen on the silver screens of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). The fickleness of destiny and the need for ritual acts are pivotal themes for Lester. As a prelude, this Dutch artist – albeit one with Belgian and American roots – throws one of his favourite themes into the mix: lotteries. He will be accompanied by a one-man band. For further information about this event, click here
- has been featured in exhibitions in São Paulo, Stockholm, London and Istanbul
- has a cinematic way of working: he isolates elements such as light, scenery, music and image, and subsequently moulds them to his will using techniques such as montage and framing.
- immerses the public in a conceptual and sensual experience.
- is intrigued by the human idiosyncrasy of wanting to gain control of the intangible world.
Are you curious about the films that Gabriel Lester was screening in his Suspension of Disbelief presentation? For a teaser of ‘The Big One’ click here. This film depicts an inexplicable gathering of people that the viewer will be quick to interpret as a ritual invocation of fate. The film demonstrates people’s readiness to think magically and their tendency to ascribe value to non-existent interrelationships: people perceive it as a magical gathering despite there being no other indications of this. The other film by Lester, ‘Cleromancy #2’, is an abstract interplay of colour and movement composed of fragments of footage of lottery draws all around the globe.
The title ‘Suspension of Disbelief’ was originally a literary term that found its way into cinema in the course of the 20th century. It concerns the readiness of the public to accept a film as true, even though it contains elements that are highly improbable. With this title Lester is alluding not only to the significance of cinema in his work, but is also using the term in the sense of ‘wanting to believe in’ and ‘accepting’ the illusion.