San Jose Museum of Art
San Jose
110 South Market Street CA 95113-2383
408 2716881
Brides of Frankenstein
dal 30/7/2005 al 30/10/2005
408 2716881
Segnalato da

SJMA Press Release

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Brides of Frankenstein

San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose

An exhibition of experimental work by a new generation of female artists working with video, electronics, robotics, the Internet, computer games and animation, and other digital and traditional media to animate synthetic creatures with virtual life. Presenting visually and conceptually compelling pieces by approximately fifteen artists.

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San Jose, Calif. – Guest curated by Marcia Tanner, Brides of Frankenstein is an exhibition of experimental work by a new generation of female artists working with video, electronics, robotics, the Internet, computer games and animation, and other digital and traditional media to animate synthetic creatures with virtual life. Presenting visually and conceptually compelling pieces by approximately fifteen artists, the exhibition runs from July 31, 2005 through October 30, 2005.

In Brides of Frankenstein, the artists are the “brides." As metaphorical consorts of Mary Shelley’s fictional and archetypal scientist, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, they engender lifelike creatures. Like his, their artificial progeny embody complex responses to the human implications of the technologies they use. And like Shelley's fiction, their projects question the unreflective drive to reconfigure nature that motivated Dr. Frankenstein and explore the profound social, cultural and moral issues his activities raise.

The "creatures" in Brides are strange hybrid forms that Frankenstein never dreamt of, mingling animal with vegetable, the organic with the inorganic, human-like intelligence with unconscious machinery. They exemplify the world we live in now, where contemporary digital, medical, and biological technologies including the technologies of image-making and reproduction are dissolving age-old distinctions between what's alive and what's not, what's conscious and what's not, what's human and what's not, and what's "natural" versus what's "cultural." Alluring, engaging and often humorous, the works in Brides of Frankenstein provoke questions about the ways we interact with these technologies, and how they challenge our understanding of what it means to be human. They also address the potential for transformation and inquiry, and the new forms of identity, perception, movement, presence, representation, meaning and expression that new technologies allow.

Participating artists include: Andrea Ackerman, Peggy Ahwesh, Erzsèbet Baerveldt, Kirstin Geisler, Elizabeth King, Heidi Kumao, Kristin Lucas, Amy Myers, Patricia Piccinini, Sabrina Raaf, Tamara Stone, Camille Utterback, Katherine Wetzel, Gail Wight, and Adrianne Wortzel.

The exhibition will be located in the Museum’s Gibson Family and Plaza Galleries on the first floor, and is accompanied by an illustrated, full-color brochure authored by the curator. F

About the Curator
Marcia Tanner is an independent curator and writer who lives in Berkeley, California. The former Executive Director of the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Tanner organized the controversial exhibition Bad Girls West at UCLA’s Wight Art Gallery in 1994. More recent exhibitions include Location Location at the San Jose ICA; We Look and See: Images of Childhood in Contemporary American Photography at the Berkeley Art Museum; Mi Casa es Su Casa at the Noga Gallery in Tel Aviv, Israel and Dromology: Ecstasies of Speed, and LifeLike at New Langton Arts in San Francisco. Her writings on art have appeared in Art+Text, ArtNews, Artweek, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

About the SJMA
SJMA is the leading institution dedicated to visual culture in Silicon Valley. It is a community anchor, ensuring artistic excellence and access for an extraordinarily diverse populace. It is a contemporary art center whose acclaimed exhibitions have ranged across modern masterworks to the newest frontiers of art. It is a cultural crossroads, more than doubling its attendance since instituting a free admission policy. It is the largest visual arts education provider in Santa Clara County. It is a source of inspiration, contemplation, and delight for a fast-moving community. It is a Museum of the future.

Related Events
Join SJMA in the plaza outside the museum for three films under the stars in conjunction with Gypsy Cinema. Bring a comfy chair and arrive early to enjoy the featured exhibitions (Blobjects & Beyond: The New Fluidity in Design and Brides of Frankenstein) before the films start. All films are free, open to the public, and will start at sunset, approximately 8:30.

The Blob
July 8, 2005
In conjunction with Blobjects & Beyond: The New Fluidity in Design, we’ll be showing the classic 1958 movie The Blob. This sci-fi outer space creature film features 28 year old Steve McQueen in his debut role as a delinquent, misunderstood high-schooler who witnesses the arrival of a meteor that oozes a pink substance.

August 4, 2005
The classic and definitive monster/horror film of all time, director James Whale's 1931 Frankenstein is the screen version of Mary Shelley's Gothic 1818 nightmarish novel of the same name (Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus). In this film, the mad, obsessed scientist, Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive), experimentally creates an artificial life - an Unnamed Monster (Boris Karloff), that ultimately terrorizes the Bavarian countryside after being mistreated by his maker's assistant Fritz and society as a whole.

Young Frankenstein
September 15, 2005
One of writer-producer-director Mel Brooks’ best films, Young Frankenstein is a nostalgic, hilarious spoof-tribute to classic horror films. Featuring Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, and an all-star cast, this film ranges from slapstick and farce to bawdy humor to irreverent satire.


Gail Wight & Antoinette LaFarge
Sunday, August 7, 2005 2pm
This afternoon’s scintillating discussion between “bride” Gail Wight and New Media professor and artist Antoinette LaFarge will explore the connections between Mary Shelley, her Creature, and contemporary biological art.

Wight is assistant professor of New Media at Stanford University and currently heads Stanford University Digital Art Center (SUDAC). Her work poetically and often humorously critiques the history of science, the uses of animals in scientific research and the ethics of biotechnology and genetic engineering. LaFarge is associate professor of Digital Media at the University of California, Irvine, in the Studio Art Department. Her research interests include networked performance, mixed-reality performance, hypermedia, role-playing environments, computer games, digital typography, collaborative and performative writing, and fictive art. Recent intermedia and mixed-reality performance works include Demotic (2004), The Roman Forum Project (2003), and Reading Frankenstein (2003). She is the founder of the Plaintext Players, an Internet performance group, and the director of the virtual Museum of Forgery.

Andrea Ackerman & Ellen Ullman
Friday, September 23, 2005 8pm
Join us when artist / “bride” Andrea Ackerman and author Ellen Ullman explore how digital technology makes us question our notions of what is natural and what is artificial.

Ackerman earned an undergraduate degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale and an MD, specializing in neuroscience, from Harvard. After practicing psychiatry for twelve years, she changed focus and began studying 3D computer animation at New York University’s Center for Advanced Digital Applications. Ullman worked as a computer programmer for over twenty years, and is author of both The Bug and the cult-classic Close to the Machine. She currently writes for Harper’s Magazine, Wired Magazine, and is a regular guest commentator on NPR.

Camille Utterback & Anne Mellor
Saturday, October 15, 2005 2pm
Come explore with “bride” Camille Utterback and author Anne Mellor the ramifications of virtuality and our increasing relationship with the interfaces and representational systems of our machines.

Utterback is a pioneering artist and programmer in the field of interactive installation. Her works explore our bodies’ relationship to new technology, particularly to the creative potential of our interactions with it. Her interactive mediums provide rich environments to explore the connections between physical bodies and the myriad representational systems possible in the digital realm. Mellor is a Shelley scholar and author of Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters. She has edited Shelley’s major writings and specifically addresses Shelley’s relationship to science and technology. Mellor is a professor at University of California, Los Angeles.

It’s Aliiive! A Night of Performance by Kristin Lucas
Friday, September 16, 2005 8pm
Kristin Lucas is an interdisciplinary artist working in video, performance, installation, and interactive Web projects. Her work resonates with social isolation and alienation from the electronic media that she posits as a surrogate for personal interaction. For the Brides of Frankenstein exhibition, Lucas will present a new performance work informed by her ongoing interest in mediated communication, the subtleties between brainwashing, programming, and evolutionary mutation, compliance and compatibility.

The San Jose Museum of Art and its exhibition programs are supported in part by the City of San Jose; The David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Hewlett-Packard Company; Knight Ridder; Wells Fargo; Bank of America; Myra Reinhard Family Foundation; Applied Materials; Koret Foundation; Deutsche Bank; Richard & Rhoda Goldman Fund; Silicon Valley Bank; Adaptec; McManis, Faulkner & Morgan; San Jose Water Company; Santana Row; First American Title Guaranty; Vintage Wine Merchants; Aspect Communications; LEF Foundation; and the members of the San Jose Museum of Art.

Image: Elizabeth King, Pupil, 1987-90. Porcelain, glass eye, carved wood (Swiss pear), brass, 12 x 16 x 17 inches; dimensions can vary; all joints are movable; Requires a pedestal, approx. 40 x 24 x 18 inches, fitted with a 36 inch high plexiglas vitrine. Collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

San Jose Museum of Art
110 South Market Street CA 95113-2383
San Jose

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