The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality, and the Moving Image: Part I - Dreams

February 14, 2008 – May 11, 2008

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Independence Avenue at 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC

Level 2 Floor Plan

In this unprecedented 2-part exhibition The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality, and the Moving Image, the Hirshhorn takes an in-depth look at moving-image art works by a range of influential and emerging international artists who use film language to explore the ever-increasing impact of the cinematic on our perceptions on what is real and what is illusion.

In Part I - Dreams, artists employ the technology and techniques of cinema to recall the dream-like state induced by film viewing. For these artists, this is a state that transports viewers from their daily lives to a place where the definition and awareness of reality is called into question. Like the thrilling journey visitors might take in an amusement park's dark ride where they willingly suspend their disbelief or the transporting effect of stepping through a red curtain into another world, the cinema has always had the ability to affect people in powerful ways. To experience the exhibition, viewers move through a series of artist installations arranged like a labyrinth of chambers that encompasses the entire 2nd floor, evoking a sense of passage through different stages of consciousness. Such artists as Douglas Gordon, Andy Warhol, Rodney Graham, and Seibren Versteeg conjure passageways to the dream world while Darren Almond, Christoph Girardet, and Tony Oursler access the darker recesses of the imagination reached during deep sleep. Chiho Aoshima, Michael Bell-Smith, Teresa Hubbard/Alexander Birchler, Kelly Richardson, and Harun Farocki offer a return to consciousness and, perhaps, what is the real world. Along the way, viewers may abandon the sensibilities that drive waking hours -- the urgency of time and the distinct dimensions of space -- and become "lost" in a 3-D dreamscape.


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