Ghost Ship Rodez: Works from "The Momo Chronicles"

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Ghost Ship, 2010 Mixed Media Dimensions Variable © Courtesy of the Artist and Gallery Paule Anglim
Ghost Ship Rodez: Works from "The Momo Chronicles"

14 Geary St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
September 1st, 2011 - October 1st, 2011
Opening: September 1st, 2011 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Union Square/Civic Center
Tue-Fri 10-5:30; Sat 10:30-5
video, mixed-media, sculpture


Gallery Paule Anglim is pleased to present Terry Allen's newest masterwork GHOST SHIP RODEZ: The Momo Chronicles, pairing an exhibition of mixed media sculpture, video and drawings with a theatrical performance. Gallery Paule Anglim will mount the exhibition of Allen's artworks, and Z-Space at Project Artaud will present the theater piece September 9 - 12. Both the theatrical presentation and a video sculpture highlight performances by actress Jo Harvey Allen.


GHOST SHIP RODEZ: The Momo Chronicles is inspired by an episode in the life of French legend Antonin Artaud, revolutionary artist, playwright and actor.   Artaud believed a walking stick in his possession to be the staff of Jesus Christ handed down to St. George, and in 1937 departed to Ireland to return the stick to its rightful home. In Dublin followed Artaud's dramatic mental breakdown where he was arrested and deported to France. The violence and madness of this journey (he was chained, in a straitjacket, to a cot in the hold of the ship) form the thematic core from which Allen's work departs.


No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell. - Antonin Artaud


Central to the gallery exhibition are two large sculptural installations: the first, Ghost Ship 2010, is a bedframe with sails floating on a sea of books. Video images project onto the books and sails.


The second, MOMO Lo Mismo 2010, is a large articulated figure whose body parts are video screens. Suspended like a marionette, the video persona features elements of Jo Harvey Allen's performance, "Daughter of the Heart."


The inner life of any true artist has the traits of three essential characters: children (they are innocent), criminals (they break rules), and the insane (they inhabit another world.) Artaud lived this construct precisely, consistently reaching beyond everything... whether in word, image, object or performance.

                                                - Terry Allen


To accompany the sculptures Allen created mixed media works on paper using collaged objects. Groups of these framed colorful drawings comprise Smile (Momo Chronicles), illustrated musings into the mind of Artaud.


Allen's Artaud-inspired work has been in development since 2005 when the theatrical piece was first commissioned by Les Subsistences Laboratoire International (in Lyon) and Houston's Texas-French Alliance. It was shown at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MOCA) in 2008, and both performance and exhibition were mounted in Santa Fe in 2010, at the Lensic Theater and SITE Santa Fe, respectively


Artaud has long been an interest to Allen since his first introduction in San Francisco to an Artaud Anthology at City Lights bookstore in the 60's. Allen was so fascinated by Artaud's compelling face that owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti gave him the book.


Terry Allen is a renowned artist, musician and songwriter. His works have been exhibited internationally, and he performs frequently in the US and Europe. His artworks are in the collections of New York's MoMA and Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as in San Francisco's MOMA and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and MOCA LA. He has released eleven albums of his original music and GHOST SHIP RODEZ (A Radio Play) is available on CD.