260312: Generali Foundation Morgan Fisher – The Frame and Beyond

Generali Foundation Morgan Fisher – The Frame and Beyond 02.03.2012 – 29.07.2012 Reflections on a standardized design vocabulary By Patrick Schabus The camera zooms in on the cinema. Arriving there, it moves into the auditorium, nobody is there, everything is still dark. But the projector is running without a film and projects only white light onto the screen. Then the film comes to an end and the projector projects – now in front of the respective audience – the same white light onto the screen as shown in the film before. That is "Screening Room", a film by Morgan Fisher. It is only allowed to be shown in one cinema, for which a special version has been created. As part of a retrospective (May 9 and 10, 2012) the Film Museum will re-shoot this work for the room in the Film Museum, whereby it will be possible to view this hitherto seldom-shown film again and perhaps more frequently. His interest in films began when he was still a child. Back then, he found a 16mm film that had been washed up on the shore of a lake. Even then, he fascinated by the medium, and not by what it showed. And he was particularly fascinated by the perforations without which a film would have not been projectable. There were other artists who later influenced him although he had known the filmmaker, Thom Andersen, for a long time. Because he didn't live in New York, he was relatively excluded from the then avant-garde scene. It was Duchamp, Warhol, Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre and others who influenced him. His work has been shown at the Dokumenta Kassel, the Museum of Modern Art NY and other diverse important institutions of applied arts. In many museums, works for future exhibitions lie dormant - in short, the shimmering art world has long since enveloped him into its centre. He had already made his first film installations in the 70’s; his first film is from 1968. His films frequently address the production requirements of commercial Hollywood Films, are partly autobiographical and extremely aesthetically reserved. For his last film () (Parenthesis) from 2003, he took 16mm films which he bought on eBay, took every insert he could possibly find and constructed his own work from them. Mostly it shows working hands – apparently almost all of them are taken from films – but there is also documentary material. There is, for example, a coloured shot from a movement study film by Lilian and Frank Gilbreth in which a clock can be seen which is like that in his 1973 film "Picture and Sound Rushes" and which he placed to his right on a table. According to him, the film could also last for a 100 years, and if he were to build on the same principle of a continuous row of inserts, it would still be the same film. Again and again, his works deal with the (im)possibility of not being able to be expressive as an artist. The Generali Foundation is now showing a compilation of his forays into the moving and the unmoved. The visitor to the exhibition sees some pictures, which appear to resemble the colour field paintings of Ellsworth Kelly. One of the accompanying texts makes it clear that it's not several works but rather a single large one. Exploring the room further, one sees a projected video on the wall. Here, two gloves are being touched, kneaded and stroked slowly, almost timidly. Next to it is a video in which we see a person sitting directly opposite us and who is slowly cutting himself off from the surrounding world by putting on several pieces of clothing, which altogether are meant to protect the entire body. Both are very plain and slow, almost meditatively calm. One can soon find the drawings by Fischer, beginning with those done in 1968. Immediately upon entering the area where they are presented, one sees images of film cans, which have been created by spraying paper templates onto paper. Immediately next to these works are several drawings that have been developed from other topics, from atlases, guidebooks or his body measurements. Here is a new possibility to see Fisher's work: on close inspection, it becomes evident that his interest lies in the production requirements and the standards of the respective media. And if one goes further, with new knowledge, one finds some of the films in large, walk-in boxes. This cinema is completely different, hermetic, while there's a coming and going in these boxes, and the outer space, with all its sounds, is still present so that the observer is always interrupted and is unable to concentrate. Fischer once showed his films in another way: when he was exhibiting in 2011 in the British art room Raven Row, the visitor could start the film by pressing a button. Here, unfortunately the films run in a loop. On May 11 and 12, 2012, and following the conclusion of the presentations in the Austrian Film Museum, the symposium "Beyond the Frame: How and Why" will take place. Generali Foundation 1040 Vienna, Wiedner Hauptstrasse 15 Tel: 01/504 98 80 Fax: 01/504 98 83 http://foundation.generali.at Opening hours: Tue-Fri 11-18, Thu 11-20, Sat, Sun 11-16 hours

Generali Foundation
1040 Wien, Wiedner Hauptstrasse 15
Tel: +43 1 504 98 80, Fax: +43 1 504 98 83
Öffnungszeiten: Di-Fr 11-18, Do 11-20, Sa, So 11-16h

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