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Terra Infirma

Pratt Manhattan Gallery
144 West 14th Street, (at 7th Avenue), 212 647-7778
September 27 - November 30, 2007
Reception: Wednesday, September 26, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

The exhibition features work by an international group of artists and was guest curated by Berta Sichel, Director of Audiovisuals and Chief Curator of Film and Video at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid.

“Terra Infirma” addresses the instability that has been incorporated into society’s daily routine since September 11, 2001 and features electronic imagery and media art by artists Perry Bard, Antoine Boutet, Diller + Scofidio, Francesco Jodice, Clare Langan, Ines Lombardi and Stephanie N’Duhirahe.

“The works selected for `Terra Infirma’ do not attempt to address questions of war,” said Sichel. “The omission is intentional since images of war have already inundated our collective imagination. While selecting the works for this exhibition, the priority was to search for an alternative: not through `spectacle,’ but via representations that could transmit these tensions in a more eloquent, thought provoking way,” she added.

New York artist Perry Bard’s Traffic (2005) represents the underlying contradictions of the social structure and political process of the counterfeit merchandising economy in New York.

Antoine Boutet is a French artist and filmmaker whose 2006 work, Zone of Initial Dilution, tells of urban transformation, and addresses how constant changes in the natural environment have contributed to the instability of the planet.

New York-based Diller + Scofidio’s 1997 imaginary advertising campaign, InterClone Hotel, promotes an imaginary hotel chain in six pilot locations—all newly emerging economies where globalization is erasing distinctions between the Third World and the First World. Italian artist Francesco Jodice’s The Morocco Affair (2004) shows nocturnal and phantasmagoric images of landscapes recently constructed by Marocains Residants a l’Etranger in their hometowns.

Dublin artist Clare Langan’s Metamorphosis (2007), the latest in her acclaimed series A Film Trilogy, captures the reverberation of something that has disappeared through stormy landscapes, snow-filled interiors, and an original score by composer Jurgen Simpson.

Vienna-based artist Ines Lombardi draws on perception, space, and movement in her 2002 installation 25 frames/sec, a travelogue through the Danube River, the only major European river that flows west to east.

In the video performance piece Sans Titre (2006), Stephanie N’Duhirahe of Switzerland balances barefoot across a large concrete hall where a jumble of domestic and everyday objects - dishes, cups, an ashtray, empty detergent bottles, home appliances - are scattered across the floor.

Guest Curator Berta Sichel is an international art curator and consultant, researcher, art and cultural writer, lecturer, and instructor specializing in contemporary media arts with an extensive knowledge of trends in art. Sichel taught for six years at the Media Studies Program at The New School and has served as New York correspondent for the Periodico del Arte, Madrid, and visual arts correspondent for Estado S. Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. She received a grant from the Goethe Institut in 2005 and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts Research in 1998.

Recent curatorial work includes “First Generation: Art and Moving Image 1963-1986,” “Samuel Beckett—Films for TV,” and “Around Us,” an exhibition at ArtPace in San Antonio Texas.
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