Happy New Year!
I've been flying a bit under the radar the past months, not due to "offlining" but due to a lot of new things to work with. There is this new MA-program in Finland that is brewing (more later) that will be interesting to which I am attached, and there is of course a really large project in Norway, at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo, where I am one of two art consultants to work with the public art over the next two years when the school is completely renovated. There is the still secret exhibition that will happen in Stockholm, Sweden in May, and I am also appointed co-opted board member of the great exhibition space in Gothenburg, Röda Sten a place I really love. These four, very different, gigs are all super-exciting for me and I am so much looking forward to continue with them! 2015 is building up to a great firework!
I was planning to write a bit about 2014 before it ended, and also name some great exhibitions I've seen, but in retrospect I think it is sufficient to name only one that really rocked my world: Metamorphosis. Fantasy Visions in Starewitch, Švankmajer and the Quay Brothers at La Casa Encendida in Madrid. This was one of the very last exhibitions I saw this year, as I spent the holidays in Madrid, so it is still up and running if you happen to drive by Madrid. The exhibition Metamorphosis, greatly curated by experimental film specialist Carolina López Caballero (good job!!), presents the works of four key figures in animation cinema: the Russian resident in Paris, Ladislas Starewitch (1882–1965); a pioneer in the genre, the Czech master Jan Švankmajer (b. 1934); and the unclassifiable Quay Brothers (b. 1947), recently the subject of an exhibition at the New York MoMA - an exhibition I actually also happened to see in December 2013 - a really nice show too, filled with films and whole sets from the films.
Here is a vimeo from the exhibition I'm talking about.
The show is showing not only the films, but also a great deal of the props and the animated figures. These four animators engaged in an explicit dialogue: the Quay Brothers are self-confessed admirers of Jan Švankmajer, and the three are accompanied by Starewitch.
Below, "The Tale of the Fox" by Starewitch (first episode of six):
What made this show extra special, was the fact that I had the pleasure to go to the vast collections of the Prado Museum and to see the very original of Hieronymus Bosch's "The garden of Earthly Delights" up close for the first time in my life (larger than I imagined!), as well as some other delights that must have inspired all the exhibited in the show Metamorphosis.