The Prisoner's Dilemma

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Phlegethon-Milczenie, 2005 Single Channel Video, Sound, Installation, Performance © Copyright @ Monika Weiss and CIFO Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation 2009
The Prisoner's Dilemma
Curated by: Leanne Mella

1018 North Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 33136
December 1st, 2008 - March 31st, 2009
Opening: December 1st, 2008 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

wynwood district
305 455 3380
Thu-Fri 12-6; Sat-Sun 10-4
photography, digital, installation, video-art, performance, conceptual, sculpture



How Artists Respond to the Exercise of Power

in Contemporary Life


Exhibition drawn from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection
to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach 2008 in December
Curated by Leanne Mella

In our age, visual artists have seized considerable territory from Hollywood and feature film in depicting contemporary social issues. Through works in photography, installation, performance, the moving image and new media, often deployed in combination, artists address contemporary social issues with a resonance and power that a corporatized film industry seems unable to achieve. The works in this exhibition comment upon confront and challenge strategies of totalizing power and social control. Issues of powerlessness, exclusion and marginalization, subversion, escapism, transcendence, warfare, protest and resistance are all inventively addressed in this selection of works from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection.

Artists such as Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Francis Alÿs and Alexandre Arrechea, interrogate the ever expanding landscape of the society under surveillance. In Tension Superficial (Surface Tension) (1992), Lozano-Hemmer's all-seeing eye, animated by complex computer technology, follows our every move. Here, there is no unobtrusive camera hidden high up in corner; but a sizable screen through which we are instead invited to watch ourselves being watched, even as we marvel at the technological innovations that make it possible. Longing and fear of connection is explored by artists Cao Fei, Jenny Holzer, and Judith Barry. Cao Fei's i.Mirror by China Tracy (AKA: Cao Fei) (2007) documents Cao's avatar on an odyssey through Second Life-a virtual world described by its founders as a place to have fun, buy real estate and run a business. The flat and stilted animation that is a hallmark of Second Life and the musical score that accompanies her wanderings combine to produce an overwhelming sense of dislocation and loneliness that interestingly mirrors reality. The belief in a steadily progressive modernity dead-ends in Julian Rosefeldt's The Perfectionist (Trilogy of Failure, Part III). In a three-screen film installation, Rosefeldt gives us a protagonist as a metaphor for failed promises and broken dreams. A tragic-comic hero, he wants to fly but his every effort to do so is thwarted by a series of seemingly arbitrary events.

The conceptual focus of this exhibition as well as the artworks selected highlights one of the most important roles of the artist today: to construct and maintain a space of mental, political and aesthetic freedom from today's systems of control. "It has been our aim to invite guest curators to organize some of our shows, because we consider presenting different readings and perspectives of the collection of chief importance," said CIFO's founder Ella Fontanals-Cisneros.  "The exhibition The Prisoner's Dilemma is one more proof of the richness and expansiveness of contemporary art, in that it offers us ever-changing, powerful, broad platforms for inspiration, for thinking, for debating ideas and for enjoyment."

Artists featured in exhibition

Francis Alÿs                                        Barbara Kruger

Alexander Apóstol                               Rafael  Lozano-Hemmer

Alexandre Arrechea                            Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle

Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck                Daniel Joseph Martinez

Judith Barry                                         Priscilla Monge

Tania Brugera                                     Carlos Motta

Paolo Canevari                                   Antoni Muntadas

Stan Douglas                                      Shirin Neshat

Jimmie Durham                                  Julian Rosefeldt

Cao Fei                                               Laurie Simmons

Regina José Galindo                           Eve Sussman

Carlos Garaicoa                                 Frank Thiel

Mathilde ter Heijne                               Susan Turcot

Thomas Hirschhorn                            Monika Weiss

Jenny Holzer

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