Cloud Illusions I Recall explores the relationship between visual art and cinema. The Irish Museum of Modern Art invited artists Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Cerith Wyn Evans to exhibit their work and explore concepts of the poetic and imagination that together make up the cinematic experience, thereby investigating the relationships and influence of film.
Through a series of conversations, Gonzalez-Foerster and Wyn Evans explored this influence of the cinematic as a theme for the show, and then expanded the exhibition through selected diverse works from filmmakers, writers and artists. Both artists nuanced selection of installations, video, film, painting, text and events showcases the long-standing legacy of cinema as a source of inspiration for artists since its formation. The exhibition presents a dialogue with cinema that reveals the rich interplay between the two genres.
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster explores cinematic conventions, temporality and subjective experience; her short films and installations recreate specific moments in which individuals intersect with places – highlighting the individual traces of cultural and social contexts. Her quiet, intimate interrogation of contemporary urban life spills into her conversations and her selection of art works with Cerith Wyn Evans for the exhibition. Wyn Evans’s work stems from his interest in language and communication. He uses found fragments from literature, philosophy and film that he distils into a distinct aesthetic. His use of repetition and elliptical meaning in his work indicates endless possible readings. This is echoed by his choice of (artistic and literary) quotations replete with both classical and personal implications.
Cloud Illusions I Recall, which takes its title from Joni Mitchell’s 1969 classic song ‘Both Sides, Now’, offers a unique and wide-ranging exploration of the relationship between art, cinema and the world we inhabit. Cinema has the power to affect our state of mind, with the classic themes on offer such as love, suspense and the melancholic, altering how we perceive the world around us. Cloud Illusions I Recall includes some rare works, not seen for decades, and others created especially for the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
The exhibiton features works that span generations and includes some of the most important artists of recent times, such as Marcel Broodthaers, James Coleman, Peter Doig, Allen Ruppersberg, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman and Andrey Tarkovsky, along with the Victorian photographer Clementina, Lady Hawarden. Film screenings of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s iconic The Red Shoes, 1948, are also included.
A special work/event has been created for Cloud Illusions I Recall, a choral performance of Samuel Beckett’s Imagination Dead Imagine, conceived by Cerith Wyn Evans for IMMA. This is, as Wyn Evans explained and coined the phrase, a ‘constructed occasion’. This fluid approach to the exhibition displays the same playfulness and self-reflexive awareness that generated this performance. Gonzalez-Foerster will also perform a new work based on her ongoing work, M.2062, a fragmented opera that started during the Memory Marathon (2012) at the Serpentine Gallery, London. This continuing performance stands as a moment within a body of work by Gonzalez-Foerster centrally concerned with literature and musical adventures in the spirit of Werner Herzog’s epic 1982 film Fitzcarraldo and King Ludwig II of Bavaria’s fascination with Wagner. The events within Cloud Illusions I Recall transform IMMA into a place with the unique dynamic and character of the ‘live’ situation offered by the artists.
A fully-illustrated artists’ book, published by IMMA, will accompany the exhibition.