May 27–September 11, 2022
MOUNTAIN / TIME
Aspen Art Museum
MOUNTAIN / TIME
Mountain / Time brings together a group of recent moving image installations in a dialogue around themes inspired by the intertwined histories, geographies, and ecological systems of the mountainous Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado. The exhibition explores ideas of remapping, migration, Black and Indigenous geographies, storytelling, the liberatory potential of the archive, and perceptions of time in works by Doug Aitken, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Ian Cheng, Arthur Jafa, Kahlil Joseph, Mark Leckey, Maia Ruth Lee, Alan Michelson, Clarissa Tossin, Tourmaline, Kandis Williams, and Anicka Yi. How do the layers of temporality, cultural memory, and resistance explored in each of these works resonate within the vast archival memory of the mountains, where time is measured in a span beyond human comprehension? The works in the exhibition form a community of histories and geographies. Some reveal hidden strata unearthed by deep and cumulative archival research. Others evoke the rhizomatic form of the Aspen trees’ pando root system— one of the oldest single living organisms, whose nonlinear structure of relations and interconnectivity can be entered from multiple points. This serves as a useful model for considering the layered conceptualizations of time in these works and reveals how the excavation of the past leads to a reimagining of the future as well as new forms of world-making.
Pehin Hanska ktepi (They Killed Long Hair) , 2021 Video, color, silent, 1:05 min. looped; red trade blanket Courtesy the artist …because they have no ears , 2022 Video, black and white, silent, 47 sec. looped; canvas screen Courtesy the artist
In the work of Alan Michelson, a New York–based Haudenosaunee Mohawk member of the Six Nations of the Grand River, methodical research is combined with re-interpretations of archival material from an Indigenous perspective to challenge national myths. …because they have no ears (2022) and Pehin Hanska ktepi (They Killed Long Hair) (2021) bring together two moments—before and after the storied Battle of Greasy Grass in 1876, commonly known as Custer’s Last Stand. In the latter installation, a red trade blanket becomes a projective surface for rare black-and-white archival film footage from 1926 of Indigenous veterans on horseback visiting the site of the Battle of Greasy Grass (1876), where the Dakota, Northern Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Lakota Nations defeated the 7 th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. Michelson divides the footage into quadrants, the top two staggered and the bottom two flipped upside down, creating a circular loop. The counter-clockwise motion of the warriors’ slow, silent procession references the Winter Count of the Plains tribes, the annual calendar used to record significant events, each one represented by a single pictograph arranged in an ever-growing spiral. Michelson’s transformation of this early example of American documentary cinema and its patriotic, exoticizing gaze into a representation of Indigenous power and culture is underlined by the reddening of the film footage by its projection onto the blanket. Separate surfaces of film and screen merge into a single haptic moving image, whose saturated color and history-inflected objecthood signify Indigeneity. This reversal of the colonial cinematic gaze is echoed in …because they have no ears in which a projection onto natural canvas transforms a short footage from the 1941 Hollywood film They Died with Their Boots On— a hagiographic depiction of the life of Custer. A line of cavalry on horseback retreat silently from the camera underneath a brooding sky, in a reversal of their patriotic procession out of the fort in the original film. They next appear in the clouds, upside down as though falling, evoking Sitting Bull’s vision, before the battle, of soldiers and their horses falling from the sky upside down, “thick as locusts,” as a voice said, “I give you these because they have no ears.”
Top: Installation view: Alan Michelson, Pehin Hanska ktepi (They Killed Long Hair) , 2022, and . ..because they have no ears , 2022, in Mountain / Time , Aspen Art Museum, 2022. Photo: Carter Seddon
Bottom: Lone Dog, winter count. Sioux. NA.702.5 Courtesy the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming; Plains Indian Museum
migration (empire) , 2008 Video installation, color, sound, 24:28 min. Courtesy the Rosenkranz Collection Promised gift, Whitney Museum of American Art
Since the early nineteenth century, the conflicting American settler myths of westward expansion and an “empty” wilderness have cast the American West as both a pristine landscape and a source of economic enrichment. migration (empire) (2008) articulates the consequences of this paradox in a surreal cinematic narrative in which wild animals native to North America engage with the interiors of empty motels—geographical markers of the post–World War II increase in natural resource industries and of the tourist industry generated by the Wilderness Act of 1964, which legislated the protection of large areas of land from development and redefined Indigenous land as uninhabited spaces to be visited for recreation. migration (empire) stages the tension inherent in these layered histories in an unfolding tableau of displacement. Projected onto a billboard or a large hanging screen, the video implicates the space of the gallery as part of the fraught landscape. It is as though we are watching from one of the long stretches of road that appears in the video; the billboard becomes a road movie that narrates the reason for its presence. In this conceptual interlocution, exterior shots of roads, freight trains stretching into the distance, and motel signs are punctuated by the drama occurring in the motel rooms’ interiors. A bison tosses a bedcover on its horns and casually breaks the furniture; a mountain lion tears apart a pillow; a beaver moves through a bath full of water, dunking its head under the tap. The artificiality of America’s constructed “wilderness” is mirrored in the animals’ incongruous presence in the motels. Displaced and unable to be managed by, and in relation with, the Indigenous community, they negotiate the environment of their displacers, their incongruity articulated through an uncanny doubling of nature with its reproduction. A flight of migrating birds turns into TV static; a light bulb shines from an upended lampshade, in close-up morphing into the midday sun; a horse glances at wild horses galloping across the screen on a wall-mounted TV; a fox examines a jigsaw puzzle of what looks like an image of itself, scattered across the bed. An owl stares at a red light blinking on the motel room phone, the futility of its connective alert underlining the chasm between the two incompatible worlds. In the final sequence, white feathers fall like snow onto the owl until it flies away, its wings causing the feathers to float upwards into the darkness like a flock of birds. In this final visual metaphor, the feathers enact the “migration” of the work’s title, implying the hope of return. 6
Installation views: Doug Aitken, migration (empire) , 2008, in Mountain / Time, Aspen Art Museum, 2022. Photo: Carter Seddon
Ch’u Mayaa , 2017 Video, color, sound, 17:56 min.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Purchase, with funds from the Film and Video Committee, 2019.320
In Clarissa Tossin’s film Ch’u Mayaa (2017), Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, built in 1921 at the height of the Mayan Revival style in Los Angeles, is remapped as Mayan space through a sonic and haptic transformation of the building by a series of dance movements performed by Crystal Sepúlveda across the surfaces of its exterior. The film features a soundtrack of birds, cicadas, wind, drums, a heartbeat, thunder, and music played on a clay jaguar flute made by Mayan elder Xavier Quijas Yxayotl. The healing ritual inscribed in these evocative sounds and Sepúlveda’s movements, based on gestures and poses found in ancient Mayan pottery and murals, transform the house into an uncanny echo of the site of its quotation—the ancient ruins of Uxmal in Mexico. This symbolic reclaiming of the borrowed Indigenous cultural motifs of Wright’s building re-signifies it as belonging to a pre-Columbian architectural lineage beyond Modernism, and to the present cultural life of Los Angeles and its Mayan community. The arc of time evoked in this remapping is echoed in the film’s title, Maya blue , a reference to the rare azure pigment found in ancient Mayan wall paintings and ceramics, known for its resilience and endurance over the passage of time.
A twoheaded serpent held in the arms of human beings, or, Ticket Window , 2017 Silicone, walnut, faux terracotta (dyed plaster) Overall: 44 13/16 × 53 × 5 1/4 in. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee, 2019.37ac Yaxchilán Lintel 25 (feathered serpent) , 2017 Silicone, walnut, faux serpent skin, synthetic hair, faux quetzal feather. Dimensions variable. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee and Sonia and Gaurav Kapadia, 2019.36ad
A cycle of time we don’t understand (reversed, invented, and rearranged) , 2017 Silicone, walnut, faux terracotta (dyed plaster). Dimensions variable. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee, 2019.35ae Ha’ K’in Xook, from Piedras Negras to Hill Street , 2017 Silicone, walnut, jaguar faux fur, quetzal faux feather (dyed rooster feather). 91 3/4 × 33 1/2 × 16 3/8 in. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee, 2019.38
Top: Installation view: ClarissaTossin, Ch’u Mayaa , 2017, in Mountain /Time , Aspen Art Museum, 2022. Photo: Carter Seddon
Clarissa Tossin, Ch’u Mayaa , 2017, in Mountain / Time , Aspen Art Museum, 2022.Video, color, sound, 17:56 min.Whit- ney Museum of American Art, NewYork; purchased with funds from the Film andVideo Committee 2019. 320. © ClarissaTossin. Courtesy the artist. (still)
BLKNWS , 2019 Two-channel video installation, color, sound, with wallpaper Courtesy the Rosenkranz Collection Promised gift, Whitney Museum of American Art
BLKNWS (2019) is a video installation and a post-media company broadcasting from a Black perspective in a mixture of live and recorded material drawn from the history of recorded media mixed and re-mixed over time with a team of editors and journalists. With each installation site controlled remotely, BLKNWS updates the programs intermittently with its “fugitive broadcast.” Its fluid format folds the live responsiveness of TV news into a conceptual structure that blurs the lines between art, reporting, and cultural critique. The two channels fragment the collaged narrative into a complex composition of call and response, framing its linguistic form within a musical structure. Echoing the advent of the two turntable setup at the dawn of hip-hop, and putting things “in-the-mix,” two TV screens are hung side-by-side on wallpaper made from a single black-and- white archival photograph of a group of Black people, ancestors, most unnamed, staring back at the viewer. Here an image of Black cowboys in the American West is blown up to occupy the entire wall. This layered montage echoes the billboard-size black-and-white photographic collages of Romare Bearden and the photographic backdrops of the pioneering African American TV news station Black Journal, produced and hosted by filmmaker William Greaves, both created in the late 1960s. BLKNWS builds on this lineage, recalibrating the power structures of media and social space to make visible the vast complexity of Black experience.
Top: Installation view: Kahlil Joseph, BLKNWS , 2019, in Mountain / Time , Aspen Art Museum, 2022. Photo: Carter Seddon
Bottom: Kahlil Joseph, BLKNWS , 2019.Two screen video, color, sound, with wallpaper. Courtesy the artist and the Rosenkranz Collection
BOB (Bag of Beliefs) , 2018–19 Artificial life form, color, sound, infinite duration Courtesy the Rosenkranz Collection Promised gift, Whitney Museum of American Art and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
BOB (Bag of Beliefs) (2018–2019) is an artificial life form in the shape of a chimeric branching serpent. The artwork began from a dream the artist had of a snake that fractalized into a branching tree. Starting from this image of metamorphosis, Cheng created an animated body with external sensors, including the ability to detect movement, color, shape, texture, and internal sensors including metabolic energy, and motor skills. Cheng’s approach was inspired by the work of Artificial Intelligence scientist Richard Evans, and his ideas for creating a computational system that could construct beliefs from a sensory input, through an artificial neural network that could learn rules from sensory experiences and create a coherent belief system. The psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s observation that each person is a collection of sub-personalities, each with their own subset of beliefs, further inspired Cheng to center BOB’s cognitive architecture on the relationship between desires and beliefs. BOB is an evolving personality that responds to the changing environment, and the input of the general public via an app through which BOB can be sent shrubs, mushrooms, starfish, rocks, and other hybrid objects, which may or may not be accepted. As Cheng observes, “BOB is there not…as a kind of character for your enjoyment…Maybe BOB looks to you to escape its own boredom…But.. it can also go off and carry on with its own life. BOB is not there for you.”
BOB Shrine, a free iOS and Android app, can be downloaded via this QR code.Through the app, viewers can send BOB a range of offerings. If accepted by BOB, your shrine will appear on the screen.
Installation views: Ian Cheng, BOB (Bag of Beliefs) , 2018–19, in Mountain / Time , Aspen Art Museum, 2022. Photo: Carter Seddon
Songs for Dying , 2021 Video installation, color, sound, 33:20 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, gift of the artist
Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3 , 2015 Video installation, color, sound, 24:55 min. Courtesy the Rosenkranz Collection. Promised gift,Whitney Museum of American Art The films of Korakrit Arunanondchai form elements of a larger artistic practice in which sculpture, performance, installation, film, and painting are all interdependent and born out of each other. This interwoven practice is rooted in the polychronic cultural and spiritual belief systems and geo-political histories of Thailand, where most of the films were made. This presentation, within a specially created environment made of denim textile, includes two films, each unfolding as an epic tale told by multiple voices, in which the shaman, the ghost, the King, spirits, monks, nâgas, soldiers, family members, trees, deities, and mythical figures are all characters, woven together and transformed into one another. Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3 (2015) is the third film in Arunanondchai’s ongoing Painting with History series, investigating the entanglement of spirituality, technology, nature, and memory. Shots of the film’s protagonist, a Thai denim painter played by the artist, are intercut with performance documentation, appropriated media, and drone footage. In a drone sequence filmed at Wat Rong Khun (the White Temple), one of two narrators proposes that “heaven is a simplified version of the world recorded in high definition.” Arunanondchai raises questions about the recording and dissemination of information, and the veracity of shared knowledge, especially in an era characterized by increasing nterconnectedness. Songs for Dying (2018) explores the ghost as a metaphor for suppressed histories. A personal narrative centered around the recent death of the artist’s grandfather is interwoven with the life cycle of a mythical sea turtle, the ascension of a new king, the continuing student protests in Bangkok, and the massacre of thirty thousand people during the brutally suppressed 1948 uprising against the government on the island of Jeju in South Korea. These registers of dying are gathered into a cycle of songs—”A Song for Decomposition,” “A Song for Order,” “The Shores of Security,” and “A Song for Dreaming”—that carry the idea of self and the community from the social and political realities of life in Thailand into the space of the unknowable.
Installation view: Korakrit Arunanondchai, Songs for Dying , 2021, in Mountain /Time , Aspen Art Museum, 2022. Photo: Carter Seddon
Triadic Ballet , 2021 Video, color, sound, 8:53 min. Dimensions variable Courtesy the Rosenkranz Collection Promised gift, Whitney Museum of American Art
Kandis Williams’ video installation Triadic Ballet (2021) triangulates movement, sound, and archival moving images, echoing the conceptual triadic form of Bauhaus artist Oskar Schlemmer’s 1922 dance of the same name. Placing the dancer both along, in front of, and behind the lines of a floor diagram divided into six triangular parts, Williams constructs a symbolic space that alternates between registers of flatness and three- dimensionality. Performed by Natasha Diamond-Walker, a soloist in the Graham Dance company, the sequences stitch movements from vernacular dance cultures, performed alongside appropriative citations of Graham’s floor exercises. Williams builds a further dimension to this kinetic architecture; each movement corresponds to a sequence of aural phrases, including a score with a rendering of the Lord’s Prayer in Morse code crafted by cellist and sound designer Patrick Belaga, and a composition by improvisational jazz musician Tapiwa Svosve that travels through eras of popular American musical sounds and haptic cell phone notification sounds. The dancer’s movements are also responsive to a sequence of clips playing on a screen behind her, merging canonized twentieth century dance forms with contemporary performances including marching bands, step squads, and Beyoncé’s performance at the Super Bowl. The intermittent appearance of time stamps and archive logos indicate the research process that underpins Williams’ practice, reinforced by the video’s presentation on the analog monitors usually found in library archives.
Installation views: KandisWilliams, Triadic Ballet, 2021, in Mountain /Time, Aspen Art Museum, 2022. Photo: Simon Klein
Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore , 1999 Video, color, sound, 15 min. Courtesy the Rosenkranz Collection
Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) is a dreamscape of underground dance culture in working class Northern England from the 1960s to the early 1990s. Leckey’s elegiac montage of video and sound, made right after the scene had faded, is a fusion of personal and collective memory, written in borrowed images. The video begins with tinted clouds scudding in slow motion across the sky, indicating the haze of daybreak after an all-night dance session. The artist’s crude video editing process is evident throughout, here indicated by including a “play” arrow at the top right, the first of many visual and aural clues that ground the video in a subtly wrought low-fi montage of grainy 1970s and 1980s TV clips, and a soundtrack that layers slowed- down and distorted music fragments with whistles, trance-like extended electronic notes, the voice of the artist, and a DJ who declares “We do not need anybody; we are independent.” The first part of the video shows footage filmed at the legendary Wigan Casino and other northern soul clubs in Lancashire for the 1977 documentary film The Wigan Casino by Tony Palmer, commissioned by the Northern TV station Granada TV. At one point Leckey lifts a bluebird from a dancer’s tattooed arm and sets it flying into the dance hall, in a magical animated intervention into the original film. In the second part of the work, footage from 1980s Acid House raves and all-night warehouse parties becomes increasingly frenetic and fractured. This later moment anticipates the imminent arrival of the internet, Youtube, and a dispersal of subcultures into more individuated and commercialized communities. Leckey’s portrait of a Northern working- class community whose own culture he felt to be as valuable as anything found in the art world lives in both the art world, online, and as a vinyl record, returning it to its roots in music and the hardcore commitment to an in-person shared experience.
Top: Installation view: Mark Leckey, Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore , 1999, in Mountain / Time, Aspen Art Museum, 2022. Photo: Carter Seddon
Bottom: Mark Leckey, Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore , 1999.Video, projection, color, sound, 15 min. Courtesy the artist and the Rosenkranz Collection. (still)
MAIA RUTH LEE
The Stranger, 2018 Video, color, sound, 23:45 min. Whitney Museum of American Art Purchase, with funds from the Film and Video Committee 2020.104
Colorado-based Maia Ruth Lee’s The Stranger (2018) performs a complex remapping, in a survey video shot by Lee’s father in the late 1980s, during his linguistic field work in the Himalayan mountains, where the family lived. Lee’s father’s monologue from the footage is synced with English subtitles from the artist’s own journal, written when Lee returned to Nepal as an adult and a mother. Questions of identity and family are bound up in the languages that surround her— Korean, Nepalese, English—and the invisible bond articulated in the slippage between what is written and spoken. For this presentation, Lee—who relocated from New York to Colorado during the pandemic—has created a site-specific environment including baggage sculptures that operate as floor seating, a ceiling-hung sculpture lit with red light, and text on the wall that reads “To bring me back home, to where I must belong.” 고향 [gohyang] is the Korean word closest to the word “home” that directly translates to “birthplace” or “hometown.” In the words of the artist: “There are so many things that we need as humans for the feeling of connection. Time, space, touch, and emotions all round up to the experience of an identity. For an immigrant who is becoming an American one battles with choosing sides, but the layers of that experience are essentially the language of a diasporic identity. I am back in the mountains, half way across the world from my mountains, but it speaks the same language. I bring my baggage, I unpack my baggage, I am home.”
< 고향 > , 2022 Decal, rope, India ink, red gel spotlight. Dimensions variable Courtesy the artist <Bondage Baggage Check-in> , 2022 Tarp, tape, rope. Dimensions variable Courtesy the artist
Installation views: Maia Ruth Lee, The Stranger , 2018, in Mountain / Time, Aspen Art Museum, 2022. Photo: Carter Seddon
Mary of Ill Fame, 2019–21 16mm film transferred to video, color, sound, 17:14 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Director’s Discretionary Fund in honor of Dina Helal, 2022.4
Tourmaline is an activist, artist, and writer whose practice confronts the historical erasure of Black, queer, and trans communities. Her film Mary of Ill Fame (2019–21) tells a fictional story around the life of Mary Jones (played by Rowin Amone), a Black trans woman who Tourmaline imagines living in the autonomous Black and Irish immigrant community of Seneca Village in New York in the 1830s, on the land occupied today by Central Park. Splicing between images of Jones in brutal confinement after stealing a man’s wallet and a gracious Seneca Village home, Tourmaline builds a fantasy space of power, freedom, and pleasure that the actual Jones deserved, reaching back in time to talk about the future, using the style of Black folktales to resurface Jones and bring her story back into view. A meticulous chronicler of Black queer and trans histories, Tourmaline researched Mary Jones’ life in the archives of New York. Her work as a community historian for New York drag performers demonstrates a fusion between art and social justice. As she has remarked, “This work is about reshaping what we know to be possible… Right now, people are paying attention to the question ‘What’s the world that we’re seeking to create? And who is coming along with us?’”
Tourmaline , Mary of Ill Fame , 2019–21, in Mountain / Time, Aspen Art Museum, 2022. Courtesy the artist and Chapter NY.
Akingdoncomethas , 2018 Video, color, sound, 180 min. Courtesy the Rosenkranz Collection Promised gift, Whitney Museum of American Art
Arthur Jafa’s artistic practice is built through the sonic tonality of images, and their potential to create the same vibrational frequency as Black music. Jafa’s desire to create a Black cinema that operates in the same register as music fuses the sonic with the visual in a way that renders each frame and edit as a form of musical phrasing. In Akingdoncomethas (2018), this synesthetic tonality builds slowly, through a composition of TV recordings from the 1970s to 2017 showing gospel singers, choirs, and ministers from the Black church singing hymns and preaching to large congregations. Each song is sung from beginning to end, with extracts from the sung and spoken sermons interspersed between them. The symbiotic relationship between Black sacred music and the music industry in forging faith, community, and identity belies the deeper revolutionary potential of the Black church to effect lasting social change. Jafa foregrounds the profound implications of this, by showing the powerful role of the church as the cultural center of the fight against a system determined to crush Black people’s spirit, through preachers and singers whose complicated lives have epitomized that struggle. The video begins with a recording of Reverend Al Green singing “Jesus is Waiting,” for example, written by Green in 1973, three years before his switch from a successful soul singer to a minister after a personal tragedy, and Le’Andria Johnson appears three times at different stages of a long struggle to survive. Ten minutes into the video, footage of the disastrous California wildfires of 2018 appears, showing TV news clips of people fleeing and horses cantering down the road in confusion. These apocalyptic events (occurring over a year, as Jafa was making the video nearby in Los Angeles) reappear at the end of the video, along with fragments of the sermons and songs. A fast-moving silent montage of anguish, hope, faith, courage, and communing is overlaid with reflective piano music and other poignant sounds that point to the yawning gap between the hopes for a new future invoked in every face on the screen and the reality of the present. In a redemptive conclusion, the screen goes to black, and Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson’s “Beginnings (The First Minute of a New Day)” (1975) plays. “We want to be free / Yet we have no idea / Why we are struggling here / We’re searching out/ Our every doubt / And winning.. / Completely new / Completely new / Beginnings.”
Installation views: Arthur Jafa, Akingdoncomethas , 2018, in Mountain /Time, Aspen Art Museum, 2022. Photo: Carter Seddon
The Flavor Genome , 2016 3D video installation, color sound, 22 min. Courtesy the Rosenkranz Collection Promised gift, Whitney Museum of American Art
Anicka Yi’s 3D film The Flavor Genome (2016) follows a flavor chemist in dream-like pursuit of an elusive plant with purported sense-altering properties in the Amazon rain forest of Brazil. In a series of surreal juxtapositions, the artist is shown compiling data in an orchid greenhouse and the rainforest, and animated cells and micro-organisms appear alongside sensual depictions of aromas and tastes. Pairing science fiction with a bio-technological scientific vocabulary, the artist questions the underlying impetus of progress that drives science and renders everything functional, useful, and quantifiable. Her fore- grounding of hybridization and the immaterial properties of scent and bacterial mutation asserts the threshold of the visible in order to address the consequences of this impetus, and the resource depletion in the Global South resulting from the unchecked consumption of Western societies.
Top: Installation view: AnickaYi, The Flavor Genome , 2016, in Mountain / Time , Aspen Art Museum, 2022. Photo: Carter Seddon
Bottom. Anicka Yi, The Flavor Genome , 2016. 3D video, color sound, 22 min. Courtesy the artist and the Rosenkranz Collection. (still)
MOUNTAIN / TIME PUBLIC PROGRAMS
ApichatpongWeerasethakul, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives , 2010. Courtesy Kick the Machine Films. Photo: Nontawat Numbenchapol. (still)
Saturday, May 28, 2022 The Archive as Future Knowledge
Saturday, June 4, 2022 Languid Hands TREAD/MILL (WORK IN PROGRESS)
This panel addresses the role of the archive as a tool for imagining new futures in the inter-related time-based media fields of artistic practice, curatorial thinking, and documentation strategies, as a collective building of future knowledge. The panel, presented in conjunction with Mountain / Time , brings together three artists from the exhibition—Korakrit Arunanondchai, Alan Michelson, and Kandis Williams—for whom the archive is of central importance. Film scholar and Professor of Film at New York University Michael B. Gillespie addresses the role of the moving image and film archives as forms of knowledge production, and Chrissie Iles, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator, and Farris Wahbeh, Benjamin and Irma Weiss Director of Research Resources, from the Whitney Museum of American Art, discuss the role of the archive in experiential conservation and new collaborative inter- institutional structures of care.
Interdisciplinary writer, artist, editor, and facilitator Imani Mason Jordan presents a performance drawing from the history of the penal treadmill, which was utilized as a tool of punishment in British prisons and in the colonies. The performance addresses themes of material culture, labor, sweat, carceral logics, surveillance, endurance, and orality. Across two 19-minute chapters, the performance includes a recitation of Frederic Rzewski’s 1974 minimalist composition “Coming Together,” which repurposes a text written by Sam Melville, one of the leaders of the 1971 Attica Prison Rebellion. The first iteration of TREAD/MILL [WIP] was presented at Somerset House Studios in 2021 with sound by Felix Taylor, and design support and documentation by Joseph June Bond and Rabz Lansiquot.
Saturday, June 4, 2022 The Mountains have Eyes Crystal Theatre (Carbondale, CO)
Thursday, June 2, 2022 Languid Hands Black Film Anti-School
The Aspen Art Museum presents The Mountains have Eyes , a free film screening at the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale, CO, which includes films by Stan Brakhage, Kalpana Subramanian, Basim Magdy, Kitso Lynn Lelliott, Colectivo los Ingrávidos, Pablo Mazzolo, Ana Vaz, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Las Nietas de Nonó, and Rhea Storr. The program’s curator Almudena Escobar López is an independent curator, archivist, and researcher from Galicia, Spain, now residing in Rochester, NY. Featuring landscapes from near and far, performances, and stories from the present and the past, this program highlights a personal practice of filmmaking rooted in alternative forms of vision. These are films that think with the body and feel with the mind.
Filmmaker and curator Rabz Lansiquot presents a study session exploring Black liberatory film. The Black Film Anti-School is Lansiquot’s ongoing project, initiated at London’s LUX Moving Image in 2019, which seeks to create spaces for collective learning, including screenings, reading and discussion, and generate discourse that goes beyond conversations about representation and towards a liberatory mode of making, viewing, and critiquing Black film. This session will explore theories of Aesthetics through the work of thinkers like Clyde Taylor and Teshome Gabriel.
Top: Basim Magdy, The Many Colors of the Sky Radiate Forgetfulness, 2014, Super 16mm film transferred to Full HD video. 11 min. 09 sec. (still)
Bottom: Languid Hands, TREAD/MILL (WORK IN PROGRESS) , Aspen Art Museum, 2022.
Saturday, July 30, 2022 Apichatpong Weerasethakul Double Feature:
Friday, September 9, 2022 Smuggler Mine Film Screening
This cinematic event takes place at Smuggler Mine, an abandoned silver mine on Smuggler Mountain. Three screenings will take place, in and outside the mine. Cauleen Smith will present film projections made specially for the mine’s interior. Aspen Art Museum Curator at Large Anisa Jackson and film scholar, curator, and writer Michael Gillespie will present two film programs next to the mine’s entrance. Jackson’s program unearthed presents a film program that situates the mine as a site of capitalist accumulation embedded within histories of racialization, racialized labor, and settler colonialism. The program is structured around themes of extractive economies, the geophysics of race, and Black/Indigenous geographies. This site- specific program will invite participants to consider how the mine among other extractive practices rearranges geologic formations and forms of subjectivity co- constitutively, as well as the new forms of subjectivity that form in favor of collective liberation. Gillespie’s program Unspoken Dreams of Light gathers together films that pose challenging and exquisite considerations of time, place, culture, and history. In the remapping spirit of Mountain / Time , each film enacts a distinct politics of longing and memory that amends our understanding of film as art and speculation.
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Live s (2010) and Memoria (2021) TACAW (Basalt, CO)
In collaboration with TACAW, Carbondale, the Aspen Art Museum presents a rare screening of two of the renowned Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s best-known films, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010) and his most recent film Memoria (2021). Apichatpong’s films weave together themes including dreams, the uncanny, queerness, and the presence of ghosts and spirits in the animistic traditions of rural Northeast Thailand. Thursday, August 4, 2022 Together Performance by Korakrit Arunanondchai and Alex Gvojic Korakrit Arunanondchai and artist and director Alex Gvojic present Together , a “ghost cinema” performance taking place in an Aspen tree meadow in the mountains. The artist, in collaboration with members from the local community, will perform an Itinerant Cinema event inspired by the animistic cinematic practices of rural communities in Northeast Thailand. Outdoor or itinerant cinema has been prevalent in Southeast Asia since the Vietnam war, when American troops screened films outside at night in the jungle for American and local audiences. The tradition has continued, and in Thailand, there is a legend that the projectionist is a ghost, and the audience joins the ghost in the forest to watch the film.
Cauleen Smith, site visit to Smuggler Mine, Aspen, Colorado, May 2022.
ABOUT THE ASPEN ART MUSEUM Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 1979, the Aspen Art Museum is a thriving and globally engaged non-collecting contemporary art museum. Following the 2014 opening of the museum’s facility designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Shigeru Ban, the AAM enjoys increased attendance, renewed civic interaction, and international media attention. In July 2017, the AAM was one of ten institutions to receive the United States’ National Medal for Museum and Library Services for its educational outreach to rural communities in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley and its fostering of learning partnerships with civic and cultural partners within a 100-mile radius of the museum’s Aspen location.
The exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art, is curated by Chrissie Iles, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art with Anisa Jackson, Curator at Large at the Aspen Art Museum, and Simone Krug, Assistant Curator at the Aspen Art Museum, and includes works from the Rosenkranz Collection, with additional loans from the Whitney Museum of American Art Collection.
Leadership support of Mountain / Time is provided by the Rosenkranz Foundation.
AAM exhibitions are made possible by the Marx Exhibition Fund. General exhibition support is provided by the Toby Devan Lewis Visiting Artist Fund. Further support is provided by the AAM National Council. Additional thanks to Teresa Booth Brown, Almudena Escobar López, Kathy and Bob Ezra, Ben Fino-Radin, Gabriela Galindez, Michael B. Gillespie, Ryan Honey, Rabz Lansiquot, Skyler Lomahaftewa, Imani Mason Jordan, Mia Matthias, Rai Omri, Chris Preusch, Ryan Prince, Russ Varley Painting, Jared Smilowitz (Russ Electric), Kendall Smith, Elisabeth Strunk, Superior Drywall Inc., Farris Wahbeh, and Clémence White.
Covers: Korakrit Arunanondchai, Songs for Dying , 2021, in Mountain / Time , Aspen Art Museum, 2022. (still)
Aspen Art Museum 637 East Hyman Avenue Aspen, Colorado 81611
Nancy and Bob Magoon Director Nicola Lees
aspenartmuseum.org (970) 925-8050
Assistant Curator Simone Krug
Curatorial Assistant Sam Hopple
Hours Tuesday–Sunday, 10 AM–6 PM Closed Mondays Admission to the AAM is free courtesy of Amy and John Phelan.
Exhibitions Director Kate Marra
Installation Managers Eric Angus Charlie Childress Tim Mutrie Installation crew J Carter Rodney Hill Kris Olson Mike Montesillo Katherine Killmeyer
Assistant Registrar Susan Martin
Special Projects Assistant Courtney Kenny
Editor Monica Adame DavisPage 1 Page 2-3 Page 4-5 Page 6-7 Page 8-9 Page 10-11 Page 12-13 Page 14-15 Page 16-17 Page 18-19 Page 20-21 Page 22-23 Page 24-25 Page 26-27 Page 28-29 Page 30-31 Page 32-33 Page 34-35 Page 36
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