© Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla

Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla:
Returning a Sound, 2004
DVD still
Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Irreducible: Contemporary Short Form Video

Mauricio Alejo
(Mexico), Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla (Puerto Rico), Jesper Alvaer (Czech Republic), Yael Bartana (Israel), Mircea Cantor (Romania), Douglas Gordon (Scotland), Kimsooja (Korea), Glenda Leon (Cuba), Mark Lewis (Canada), Mads Lynnerup (Denmark), Aernout Mik (Holland), Will Rogan (USA), Aida Ruilova (USA), Wilhem Sasnal (Poland), Song Dong (China), Fiona Tan (Singapore), Su-Mei Tse (Luxembourg), Gillian Wearing (England), Wood & Harrison (England), David Zink Yi (Peru), Artur Zmijewski (Poland)

The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts presents "Irreducible: Contemporary Short Form Video," an international survey featuring video work by artists from over 20 countries. "Irreducible" brings together recent works that are structured around a single situation, action or individual and often reinterpret the process-oriented concerns of performance and conceptual art from the 1970s, while exploring an expanded social and psychological landscape.

"While a number of videos in this show reflect on political and cultural situations in different parts of the world, what ultimately unites these diverse works is their ability to draw complex meanings from singular situations and actions. They make the case that even the simplest gestures and moments can generate an irreducible aesthetic experience", says CCA Wattis Institute Director Ralph Rugoff, who organized the exhibition.

Some of the work is staged or occurs in controlled studio situations. Devoid of sound, Aernout Mik's "Park" draws the viewer in much like a traditional painting, presenting a wooded park filled with people who remain disconnected from one another as they engage in both ordinary and mysterious activities. In "La Cumbria," David Zink Yi uses his own paint-covered body as a staging ground for a humorous and vaguely erotic dance that he performs with his fingers. Indirectly reflecting the solitude and homesickness of the exile, "La Cumbria" raises questions about the location of culture, which often remains simply hidden under our skin.

Other works feature interventions in the flow of everyday life. Kimsooja's "A Homeless Woman," a mixture of video, performance and sculpture (involving the artist's own body), explores the uneasy relationship between the individual and mass society and the dislocation of being a foreigner engulfed by another culture. Lying on her side on a street in Cairo while surrounded by staring men and boys who respond to her presence in various ways, the artist becomes a female "other" par excellence, her unobtrusive yet bewildering behavior confounding the onlookers.

"Seen together, the diverse works in "Irreducible" will offer an illuminating and provocative look at a vein of international video production that has become increasingly significant over the past decade", says Rugoff.

Curated by Ralph Rugoff

Established in 1998, the CCA Wattis Institute serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of leading-edge local, national and international contemporary culture. Through exhibitions, the Capp Street Project residency program, lectures, symposia, performances and publications in the fields of art, architecture and design, the Wattis Institute fosters interaction among the students and faculty of California College of the Arts; art, architecture and design professionals; and the general public.

Generous lead support for "Irreducible" is provided by Ronald and Anita Wornick. Generous support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts programs provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and by Judy and Bill Timken. Additional support for CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts provided by Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.

Exhibition: January 19 - March 19, 2005
Gallery hours: Tue/Thur 11 am - 7 pm,
Wed/Fri/Sat 11 am - 6 pm, closed Sunday, Monday

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
Logan Galleries
1111 Eighth Street
USA-San Francisco, CA


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