SITE Santa Fe Eighth International Biennial: The Dissolve

Event  |  Reviews  |  Comments
© Courtesy of SITE Santa Fe
SITE Santa Fe Eighth International Biennial: The Dissolve

1606 Paseo de Peralta
87501 Santa Fe
June 20th, 2010 - January 2nd, 2011
Opening: June 18th, 2010 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Mon-Tue 10-5
contemporary, film, Animation mixed-media, installation, sculpture


June 20, 2010-January 2, 2011
SITE Santa Fe Eighth International Biennial
The Dissolve
Sarah Lewis & Daniel Belasco, Curators
David Adjaye, Exhibition Designer

Opening Weekend Events: Friday, June 18 – Sunday, June 20, 2010
With a special performance by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
featuring a new commission in collaboration with OpenEnded Group at
The Lensic Performing Arts Center, June 19

SITE Santa Fe’s 2010 Biennial will explore a striking development in contemporary art. Emerging and established artists working in many mediums, from painting and sculpture to film and mixed-media installation, have mined techniques of early animation and moving image technologies to create a hybrid practice where the homespun meets the high-tech. The Biennial’s title, The Dissolve, describes the essential quality of this new sensibility merging with the old.

The show gathers approximately twenty-six works of recent art to show the full extent of this practice, displaying them in surprising juxtaposition with historical animations, some dating back to the early twentieth century. Hiraki Sawa, for example, uses the model of the flip book as the template for the action of his video. The vaudevillian lightning sketch and the stop motion animation practice of early Edison Manufacturing Company films appear as a compelling analogy to works by Oscar Muñoz and Robin Rhode. Shadow puppetry films, popularized by Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 film, the Adventures of Prince Achmed, offer Kara Walker’s silhouette technique a powerful historical antecedent. In so doing, this Biennial will look at contemporary art developments through a bifocal lens, with an eye to both cultural history connected to the historical developments of the moving image as well as contemporary art.

The exhibition design, executed through a commission by renowned architect David Adjaye, will recapitulate diverse viewing environments from the intimate view offered by the nickelodeon to the arena-like communal interior of Cinerama and back to the personal mode in the twenty-first century offered through digital platforms. The scale of presentation and the range of materials vary greatly, yet one element remains constant: the remixing and recombining of the familiar and the strange to revitalize old media, creating compelling new stories that probe social histories and personal narratives.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue and website [ ], featuring the works in the exhibition. SITE also is organizing a lively roster of public programs, lectures, and performances to complement the Biennial exhibition.

The exhibition is made possible in part through generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Burnett Foundation, Jeanne & Michael l. Klein, and Agnes Gund.

Biennial Artists: Robert Breer, Paul Chan, Martha Colburn, Thomas Demand, Brent Green,
George Griffin, Ezra Johnson, Bill T. Jones & OpenEnded Group, Mary Reid Kelley,
William Kentridge, Avish Khebrehzadeh, Laleh Khorramian, Maria Lassnig,
Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, Joshua Mosley, Oscar Muñoz, Jacco Olivier, Raymond Pettibon,
Robert Pruitt, Christine Rebet, Robin Rhode, Hiraki Sawa, Berni Searle, Cindy Sherman,
Federico Solmi, Kara Walker, with historical works by Edison Manufacturing Company,
Fleischer Studios, Lotte Reiniger, and Dziga Vertov

Sarah Lewis is a writer, curator, and critic at Yale University School of Art and a doctoral candidate at Yale University in the Department of the History of Art. After receiving degrees from Harvard University and Oxford University, she held curatorial positions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in The Department of Photography and The Department of Painting and Sculpture, and is a guest curator for exhibitions at the Woodruff Arts Center and the Wadsworth Athenaeum. Sarah has published widely, writing for Art in America, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, The Venice Biennial, The Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and The Guggenheim Museum. A member of President Obama’s Art Policy Committee, Sarah lives in New York and New Haven.

Daniel Belasco is a curator and art historian specializing in postwar and contemporary art and design. He is the Henry J. Leir Assistant Curator at The Jewish Museum, New York, where his exhibition Reinventing Ritual, opened in September 2009 and will travel to the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco. Daniel has contributed texts to several contemporary art catalogues, including Robert Storr’s Disparities and Deformations: Our Grotesque for SITE Santa Fe’s Fifth International Biennial. Daniel has published essays and reviews in numerous journals including Art in America and Art News, and is currently completing a book on feminist consciousness in New York School art. He holds a PhD and MA from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and a BA from Amherst College; he lives in Brooklyn.


The exhibition is made possible in part through early support from The National Endowment for the Arts and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, as well as Agnes Gund.
ArtSlant has shutdown. The website is currently running in a view-only mode to allow archiving of the content.

The website will be permanently closed shortly, so please retrieve any content you wish to save.