Cultured Magazine

February/March 2016

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170 CULTURED G I A N N I J E T Z E R @GIANNIJETZER As America prepares to elect a new leader, the successes and failures of President Barack Obama are up for assessment. But in a parallel universe in a basement in Washington, D.C., history has already been decided. In Hope and Change (2015), on view in the lower levels of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, artist Josh Kline presents a digitally manipulated Obama delivering his inaugural address. This version of the country's 44th president has succeeded in each of the aims he outlined in 2009 and unapologetically takes to task bigots, blowhards, climate change deniers and corrupt big business in a speech reimagined by Kline and former Obama speechwriter David Meadvin. This is one of the works in "Suspended Animation," an exhibition focusing on six artists whose work involves digital animation. On view through March 12, 2017, it is the first show organized by Gianni Jetzer since his appointment as the institution's curator at-large in 2014. "I'm really interested in the whole notion of the body, and its new identity through digitalization," Jetzer says. "The human body is now an expanded and fictional field that artists are working with." The show begins with a piece by Agnieszka Polska, I Am the Mouth (2014), in which a pair of feminine lips is projected onto a 15-foot- wide screen. The disembodied mouth whispers soothing words in a work that refers to the recently discovered, and still debated, Internet phenomenon of ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), in which viewers experience pleasant tingling sensations in different parts of their body in response to softly spoken banalities. "The degree of empathy we can feel toward animated characters has created a new dimension for artists exploring the uncanny," says Jetzer. "Now, animation no longer mimics reality—it creates its own reality." —Charlotte Burns #CULTUREDMAG D AV I D G RY N @DAVIDGRYN What are your priorities when positioning video and digital art for general audiences? The audience still wants an object to possess; they want to own it, see it and touch it. I specialize in working with film, moving image, video and sound, and have realized that these are similar to any other mediums. They can be shown, observed and collected like anything else. Ultimately it's about developing ways to convey the artist's intentions as clearly as possible. Are there specific strategies that you use to endear the art world to digital work? I use simple means to convey complicated, emotional or challenging works. I see my role as a conveyor, as being able to organize an exhibition, event or project without making any part too difficult. I want to be able to entice audiences toward a cinema or toward the Internet, which are two of the most natural venues for viewing moving image works. The Internet has evolved into everyone's natural place for looking at art. How can we better empower digital artists in the marketplace? My perspective of the market has been through the lens of curating the moving image program at Art Basel Miami Beach, where I have encouraged gallerists to think about artworks such as video and sound-based pieces that they wouldn't typically bring to an art fair because they're difficult to sell. I'm tirelessly thinking about how to advocate for these artists and their galleries, which is what contributed to the development of Daata Editions, an online platform for video, sound and web art editions that I co-founded with Anita Zabludowicz. My hope is that this will encourage more competition in the marketplace. Ideally, I would like to see galleries making their artists' moving image work available online and do more with these works at art fairs. The inherent issue that we currently have is that the art world is led by the marketplace through art fairs and auction houses. I would like to see museums, institutions and galleries reclaim their power over what artworks and artists are most influential. —Lindsay Howard "My perspective of the market has been through the lens of curating the moving image program at Art Basel Miami Beach, where I have encouraged gallerists to think about artworks such as video and sound-based pieces that they wouldn't typically bring to an art fair." • • The curators who are shaping the digital art experience COURTESY CHLOE WISE, ©DAATA EDITIONS; © JOSH KLINE. COURTESY OF 47 CANAL, NEW YORK Chloe Wise's the hotel gave us wine, 2015 A still from Josh Kline's Hope and Change, 2015

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