Time / Image explores the interrelationship of time and thought in contemporary art. Curated by Amy L. Powell, curator of modern and contemporary art at Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and former Cynthia Woods Mitchell Curatorial Fellow at Blaffer Art Museum, Time / Image opens with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, and continues through Dec. 12 at Blaffer before traveling to Krannert Art Museum in 2016.
The exhibition borrows its title and, loosely, its philosophical framework from French philosopher Gilles Deleuze (1925–1995). Deleuze developed the concept of “the time-image” to describe what he felt to be a profound change in the perception of time brought about by post-World War II cinema. Through formal techniques such as cutting, montage, and repetition, cinema for Deleuze restated time as a tangible and active force with the potential to reach beyond the movie theater and into audiences’ experiences of the world at large.
Time / Image is organized around the work of 11 international artists and filmmakers–-Siemon Allen, Matthew Buckingham, Allan deSouza, Andrea Geyer, Leslie Hewitt, Isaac Julien, Lorraine O’Grady, Trevor Paglen, Raqs Media Collective, Ruth Robbins, and Gary Simmons–-who understand time expansively rather than quantitatively. These artists seek out and develop temporal strategies of representation across film, video, photography and painting that revive ghostly residues of the past, propose unexpected alignments across time periods, or reveal time-bending properties of their materials.
As part of a dedicated screening program accompanying the exhibition, Blaffer is presenting Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, 2011 (noon Oct. 16); Cecilia Dougherty’s Coal Miner’s Granddaughter, 1991 (6:30 p.m. Nov. 6); and Djibril Diop Mambéty’s Touki Bouki, 1973 (6:30 p.m. Dec. 3).
Till Now speaker series
Several of the fall programs related to Time / Image will be part of the speaker series Till Now: Contemporary Art in Context hosted by the University of Houston’s School of Art and Blaffer Art Museum. Till Now brings together leading voices in the field of contemporary art who investigate the idea of the contemporary as both a temporal and aesthetic framework to broaden a critical understanding about how we situate current artistic practice. The fall speakers are Claire Bishop (6:30 p.m. Sept. 17, Fine Arts Building room 132), Allan deSouza (1 p.m. Oct. 8, Fine Arts Building room 110), and Katy Siegel (6:30 p.m. Nov. 12, Fine Arts Building room 110).
Catalog and support
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with essays by Kara Keeling, Amy L. Powell, Raqs Media Collective, and Jeannine Tang. Along with illuminating the works in the exhibition, the publication will survey critical temporal interventions in film and video by John Akomfrah, Black Audio Film Collective, Robert Bresson, Cecilia Dougherty, Andrea Geyer, Djibril Diop Mambéty, Chris Marker, The Otolith Group, Raoul Peck, Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt), Hito Steyerl, Clarissa Tossin, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Both venues will present dedicated screening programs featuring selected works drawn from this discussion.
Time / Image is organized by Blaffer Art Museum. The exhibition is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts and Major Exhibition Fund patrons Jim Petersen, Jr., Leslie and Brad Bucher, Vitol, Inc., and the Nightingale Code Foundation. Additional funding comes from the Cecil Amelia Blaffer von Furstenberg Endowment for Exhibitions and Programs, the Houston Endowment Inc., the Anchorage Foundation, BP Corporation North America, Inc., Joanne Guest Wilson, the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Jo and Jim Furr Exhibition Endowment at Blaffer Art Museum, and the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation.
IMAGES (from top): Lorraine O’Grady, The First and Last of the Modernists, Diptych 3 Blue (Charles and Michael), 2010, Fujiflex prints, two prints, each 46 3/4 x 37 3/8 inches (118.8 x 94.5 cm), courtesy of the artist and Alexander Gray Associates, New York, © Lorraine O’Grady / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Raqs Media Collective, An Afternoon Unregistered on the Richter Scale, 2011, single-channel video of colored and animated archival photograph, 3:34 minutes, looped, courtesy of the artists and Frith Street Gallery, London