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Talwar Galle ry is delighted to present Panopticon Letters: Missive I\, a new f ilm work by Alia Syed. In conjunction with the film\, the exhibition will a lso feature new photographic works. The exhibition will open to the public on March 15 and run through May 18\, 2013.

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Re-envisioning traditional British landscape painti ng through the lens of contemporary filmmaking\, Alia Syed’s new film work Panopticon Letters: Missive I\, is an experimental science fiction film exploring ideas of memory\, techniques of the body and colonialism: s hifting historical narratives from past to present and emerging within a co rrespondence of letters.

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Set against the technical descriptions of architectural plans for an ideal prison\, ‘The Panopticon’\, by British philosopher and social reforme r\, Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)\, the film is composed of sounds and images of sky and water following the course of the Thames in London. Employing a series of techniques to play with notions of falsified and confused represe ntations\, Panopticon Letters utilizes Bentham’s ideas about the g aze as a controlling and benign tool of instruction–the central architectur al metaphor within the panopticon system–linking this with how modes of per ception have been pared down in the 20th Century to the obsession of sight.

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Sky and water are severed from their spatial anchor in the horizon-line that integrates the a bstracted qualities of each into a knowable and humanized realism. Composit e views of de-contextualized sky and water\, together with ‘tonal’ shifts b etween digital and 16mm\, create a disjointed landscape which becomes progr essively dissonant–contesting the philosophy of sight as the primary means of comprehending the world. The serial architectonics of panopticism are ev oked by filmic sleights of hand working with\, parallel to\, and at counter purpose to the soundtrack\, setting up a framework of counterpoint strateg ies – between portions of the image\, between image and sound\, and within the construction of the soundtrack itself.

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The film’s cyclical\, serial imagery follows the pa ssing of time by the rising and setting of the sun\, as varied narratives o f time and place unfold. As described by the artist\, “The uniqueness of Panopticon Letters lies in my paring down elements of sky and water into minimal gradations of light and colour. The way I create different nar ratives by using Freudian notions of ‘haunting’ provoking the ‘embodied enc ounter’ that produces the object of art is a major shift in my practice.”\n

Alia Syed’s work exa mines memory\, representation and colonialism through narratives constructe d from both personal and historical realities: “Through my dérive along the Thames I encountered further histories. These geographies provoked memorie s of trauma\, creating new narratives that have shaped a long form film. Th e voice of Bentham’s benign paternalism is fissured through my own fictiona lized narratives.” Set against textural\, rhythmic imagery\, the various el ements at times work in parallel and opposition to each other in a restruct uring of conventional narrative forms.

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Alia Syed was born in Swansea\, Wales and lives and wor ks in London\, UK. She has been working in experimental filmmaking for over two decades. Syed’s films have been shown at numerous institutions around the world including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)\, New York (2010)\;  Mu seo Reina Sofia\, Madrid\, Spain (2009)\; XV Sydney Biennale (2006)\; Haywa rd Gallery\, London (2005)\; Tate Britain\, London (2003)\; Glasgow Museum of Modern Art (GOMA)\, Scotland (2002)\; The New Art Gallery in Walsall\, U K (2002)\; and Tate Modern\, London  (2000).  Currently her film work E ating Grass is on view in a year long installation at Los Angeles Coun ty Museum of Art (LACMA).

DTEND:20130701 DTSTAMP:20140923T074312 DTSTART:20130315 GEO:40.7354951;-73.9888793 LOCATION:Talwar Gallery - NY\,108 East 16th Street \nNew York\, NY 10003 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY: Panopticon Letters Missive I\, Alia Syed UID:265496 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR