Neiman Center Gallery
Columbia University, New York 
September 4–29, 2008

Organized by Fionn Meade and Mary Simpson 

René Clair, Lucy Raven, Sung Hwan Kim, Hans Richter, Meiro Koizumi, Steve Roden and Anna Molska

Departing from an 1896 George Méliès short that no longer exists, Bivouac includes a selection of recent !lm and video works that utilize structural conceits to create simple backdrops for performance and narration. As the avant-garde !lms of René Clair and Hans Richter (also included here) revised and expanded Méliès’ personification of objects and rudimentary theatrical effects, these contemporary works update and renew Constructivist and Dadaist strategies alike. Anna Molska’s Tanagrama, 2006/07, encounters two muscular models, wearing only pads and futuristic helmets, arranging seven large blocks into a geometric shape that alludes to Malevich’s stage design for the Futurist play Victory Over the Sun (1913) and his subsequent Black Square painting; Steve Roden’s anything else &/or nothing at all (drawing circles for jackson mac low), 2006, interprets a Fluxus score by the concrete poet Mac Low in the form of a direct animation layered on top of an existing 1950s educational film titled “drawing the circle.” Lucy Raven’s Preenactment, 2008, re-contextualizes four picture books of Chinese propaganda from the mid 1970s that promote agriculture, industry, and the heroic role of the worker. Sung Hwan Kim’s Dog Video, 2006, acts out an abstracted comparison between two homes—one in Amsterdam and one in Seoul—and the house rules that apply in each domain. And Meiro Koizumi invites a Tokyo man to share an intimate memory while under the duress of responding to blunt questions and directives in CraftNight, 2008d

One of the first “auteurs” of world cinema, René Clair epitomized a certain idea of French comedy, with his wity and elegant films ranging from Dada farce to sentimental comedy. Following the seminal influence of Entr’Acte (1924), a film collaboration with Francis Picabia and Erik Satie, Claire made such notable films as À Nous la liberté (1931), "e Italian Straw Hat (1927), and Le Voyage Imaginaire (1926), an homage in part to Georges Méliès’ Voyage Dans La Lune (1902).

Sung Hwan Kim recently won both the 2nd prize of the prestigious Dutch Prix de Rome and the Korean award Hermes Korea Missulsang (Hermes Korea Prize for Contemporary Art) and his work was recently included included in the 5th Berlin Biennial. Based in New York, Kim has an upcoming solo exhibition at Witte de With, Rotterdam, and will exhibit in the upcoming 7th Gwangju Biennale, Korea.

Based in Tokyo, Meiro Koizumi was an artist-in-residence at The Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, in 2005- 06 and has had recent solo exhibitions in Amsterdam, Sao Paolo, London, and New York, while also participating in recent exhibitions at the Frye Art Museum and Tate Modern among other venues.

Anna Molska lives and works in Poland. She went to school at the Fine Art Academy in Warsaw, and received an Erasmus-Sokrates Scholarship from the State Academy of Art & Design in Stuttgart, Germany. Her work has been shown at numerous galleries, museums, and art centers throughout Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany, including as part of Variants at the studio of Grzegorz Kowalski; Zachęta, National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; and the Ursula Walbroel Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany, among others. Her work was included in the most recent Berlin Biennial and she was artist-in-residence at Art In General, NY, in fall 2008.

Lucy Raven is a Brooklyn-based artist and filmmaker. Raven has been a resident artist with The Center for Land Use & Interpretation, The Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Atlantic Center. Raven has recently shown at In Situ Gallery, Paris, France; Mass MoCA; Boise Museum of Art, Idaho; Sculpture Center, LIC, New York, and Jack the Pelican Presents, Brooklyn, New York. She is Managing Editor of Bidoun, and contributing editort to A Public Space and BOMB.

Hans Richter was a painter, graphic artist, filmmaker and producer. Born in Berlin, Richter was integral to the Dadaist movement, first in Zürich, Switzerland and later as a key figure in avant-garde circles in Germany, Paris, London, and New York where he lived for twenty years. His films include such influential works as Rhythmus 21 (1921), Ghosts Before Breakfast (1928) and Dreams that Money Can Buy (1947). Among Richter’s unrealized film projects was a 1938 social satire, planned in collaboration with Georges Méliès who died shortly before shooting was to begin, that would have interpreted the fanciful tales of Baron von Munchhausen in the context of the rise of fascism in Europe.

Steve Roden is a visual and sound artist from Los Angeles. His work includes painting, drawing, sculpture, film/video, sound installation, and performance. Recent projects include solo shows at Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles and Berlin Projects, commissions for the Mercosur Biennial, Brazil, the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, and group shows at The Hammer Museum, UCLA, and The Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Mary Simpson is an artist based in New York, currently attending the MFA Visual Arts Program at Columbia University, and was recently a resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture.

Fionn Meade is an artist, writer, and curator living in New York whose writing has recently appeared or will appear in Artforum, BOMB, Parkett, and The Fillip Review, among other publications. Their collaborative film works have been shown recently at Seattle Art Museum, Art Basel Miami (Film & Video Program), Elizabeth Dee Gallery, and the Martin Art Gallery at Muhlenberg College, among other venues. 

Copryright Fionn Meade unless otherwise stated