Contemporary artists increasingly employ animation as a medium to examine formal elements of their studio-based practice in narrative contexts that address both personal and communal experiences. Animated films are among today's most innovative forms of artistic production. Histories in Motion presents the work of three young artists - Jennifer Levonian, Martha Colburn, Joshua Mosley - who infuse their work with personal reflections on contemporary life and its complex dynamics.
Curated by Adelina Vlas
Live Cinema/Histories in Motion presents a program of animated films by three young artists for whom the moving image and its cinematic qualities have become the prevailing form of expression. Philadelphia-based Jennifer Levonian and Joshua Mosley, along with Martha Colburn, originally from Pennsylvania and based in New York and Amsterdam, employ animation to examine both personal and communal experience. Combining paper cut-outs, collages, drawings, watercolors, and sculptures with stop-action techniques and computer technology, their animated films employ cinematic devices to create stories that reflect a range of experience, from daily interaction to ideological debates. Each artist’s animation and accompanying artworks will be on view for approximately one month.
Take your Picture with a Puma (2010), by Jennifer Levonian, uses autobiographical details and French new-wave cinema references to create an intricate story set in Mexico. Using filmmaking as a medium, Levonian transports the viewer to a universe where cinema provides a common language to communicate emotions in a way that animated characters cannot. Take your Picture with a Puma will be on view April 30 – May 31, 2010, with accompanying watercolor collages by Levonian.
Martha Colburn’s Join the Freedom Force (2009), a fast-paced collage of images inspired by street protests around the world, utilizes the language and materials of filmmaking to comment on popular culture, consumerism, politics, and sexuality. Through a collage of live-action (paint-on-glass) animations, found footage and documentary filmmaking techniques, Colburn creates a mesmerizing and unsettling portrait of contemporary issues. Samples of Colburn’s elaborately layered collages will accompany Join the Freedom Force, which will be on view June 1 – June 27, 2010.
Joshua Mosley’s International (2010) focuses on two historical figures, the American builder and philanthropist George Brown and Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek. Using photographs of pivotal places in the lives of the two protagonists, Mosley constructs an imaginary conversation that identifies Brown and Hayek’s perspectives on how a nation’s economic and social order should ideally evolve. International will be on view June 29 – July 25, 2010, together with a sculpture installation by Mosley.
"We are pleased to present this group of talented artists, some of whom have close ties to Philadelphia," said Adelina Vlas, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. "Although different in subject matter, style, and processes of production, the animations in Histories in Motion take aspects of our reality and render them into thought-provoking and open-ended narratives."
Related Programs (Free after Museum admission):
Live Cinema Live
Friday, April 30, 2010
6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Performance by Martha Colburn with guest musicians Helena Espvall, Thollem McDonas, and Tsigoti
Organized in collaboration with Art After 5
In Dialogue: Jennifer Levonian and Adelina Vlas
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Starts at 2:00 p.m.
Location: Van Pelt Auditorium
Event made possible with support from The Pennsylvania State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
In Dialogue: Joshua Mosley and Adelina Vlas
Friday, July 9, 2010
Starts at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Van Pelt Auditorium
About the Live Cinema Series:
Live Cinema is a series of programs in the Video Gallery of the Museum that explores the vast production of single-channel video and filmwork by a diverse group of local, national, and international artists. In the last decade an ever-increasing number of contemporary artists have appropriated these mediums as an artistic outlet, in a dialogue with the early video and Super 8 practices of the sixties and the tradition of experimental filmmaking. Each program of the Live Cinema series focuses on a specific aspect of this work, in order to both map and analyze this important facet of contemporary art production. Live Cinema programs are accompanied by a brochure in which writers discuss the works exhibited, and also by public lectures program.
This exhibition is made possible by The Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Edna W. Andrade Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation, and the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam.
Image: Still from International, 2010, by Joshua Mosley (Courtesy of the artist and Donald Young Gallery)
For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at (215) 684-7860, by fax at (215) 235-0050, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Press contact: Elisabeth Flynn, 215-684-7364 email@example.com
Opening event Friday, April 30, 6 pm
Galleries 178 and 179, first floor
Philadelphia Museum of Art
26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia
Museum Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 10a.m.-5p.m.