THE ARTISTS WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD – CENTRO LUIGI DI SARRO – ROME
The Artists Who Came in from the Cold:
From Siberia to the Stanford Hotel
Emile Dubuisson, Allen Frame, Mauro Restiffe
curated by Martin Kunz
opening: saturday 18 May h 6 pm
18 May – 7 June 2013 (Tuesday-Saturday, 4-7pm)
The Artists Who Came in from the Cold: From Siberia to the Stanford Hotel,
an exhibition curated by Martin Kunz, brings together three photographers who over a span of 10 years photographed in different parts of Russia. Seen together, their black and white images create an elliptical link between a village in Siberia in winter, a beach in Kaliningrad, an apartment in St. Petersburg, and a hotel room in New York. They speak of the breadth of a culture but also the ways in which outsiders to a culture thread impressions and encounters into an evocative tapestry of associations, both personal and mythic. The three photographers–French, Brazilian, and American–separately traveled to different parts of Russia and later saw each other’s work in New York. They all have a strong relationship to cinema, and close relationships with each other, and they accentuate the use of black and white grainy effects, mood, and atmosphere to create a cinematic tension in their documentary work. The exhibition opens May 18th and continues through June 7th. The vernissage is Saturday, May 18th, 6:30pm. The 3 artists will have another exhibition concurrently at Acta International/LuminUP in Rome, opening May 23rd and continuing through June 28th. The vernissage is Thursday, May 23rd at 6:30pm.
Creating a strong connection between these three perspectives, The Artists Who Came In From the Cold combines a sense of objective documentary description with subjective, diaristic narrative, and because of the shared use of 35mm and black and white film, the photographs cohere into a consistent view of a confounding culture. The title of the exhibition is taken from John LeCarré’s novel, The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, about a British agent in Berlin during the Cold War, made into a Hollywood film in 1965.
This early work by Restiffe will be shown for the first time at Frieze Art Fair New York in May before coming to Acta International & LuminUP. Dubuisson’s Siberian work will be published as Far, the first photo book launched by ADAD Books, London, and will include a foreword by the acclaimed Russian photographer Boris Mikhailov. It will be presented in July at the Photography Festival Les Rencontres d’Arles, with a conversation between the artist and Tate Museum curator Simon Baker.
The French photographer Emile Hyperion Dubuisson, (who moved to New York in 2006 after years in Paris working as a cinematographer with some of the leading directors of the new French cinema), went to Siberia when he was 18 years old in the winter of 93-94 with a French-Belarussian film crew to make a documentary about a remote village in the middle of winter. As soon as he got there, he became ill, so instead of working with the crew to make the film, he took his own still photos of village life as he recuperated. When he got back to Paris and developed the film, he accidentally underdeveloped his negatives, and they were too thin to print; he gave them up as lost and never thought about them again until 15 years later when, now living in New York and working as a still photographer, he tried to recover them through digital scanning and printing. From this vantage point in time, the “lost” but rescued material offered many surprises—basically, the charm and beauty of his young, wide-eyed perspective on a world completely different from his own—such as pictures of a woman proudly displaying a big fish, villagers skinning reindeer in the snow, and an ominous picture of a helicopter descending into the village during a snowstorm.
Allen Frame, one of Dubuisson’s photo teachers at the International Center of Photography in New York, admired this Siberian work, and encouraged Dubuisson as he compiled the images into a book and included them in various group exhibitions. Frame’s own aesthetic for many years involved using high-speed black and white film and overdeveloping it to emphasize the grain. He had also been to Russia, four times, from 200-2002, teaching photography workshops to college students and presenting a photo slide projection project about AIDS in various cities. In New York, in 2004, he had the chance to meet and photograph some young Russian video artists in their rooms at the Stanford Hotel—including Evgenii Palamarchuk– who were showing their videos at the contemporary art space Art in General, brought to New York by CEC Artslink, which had sponsored Frame’s own travels in Russia. Frame and Dubuisson showed a small selection of their Russian work together in 2011 in a branch library in a Russian neighborhood of Brooklyn; the Russian curator was NY-based Yulia Tikhonova.
Mauro Restiffe, from Sao Paulo, studied at the International Center of Photography in ‘94/’95, and went to St. Petersburg in ’95 twice, first with his Russian girlfriend, then later that year by himself after they had broken up. The pictures that he made there, still lifes, environments, and portraits in her mother’s apartment, proved to be seminal in his body of work, with their interest in the role of portraiture as artifact, icon, and memento. After creating a signature style of large-scale grainy images made from 35mm negatives that have been presented internationally, he returns to these early, intimate, small-scale photographs that reference a specific time in his life and his awakening to the content that arises with the intersection of private and public space, the social and the political.
Martin Kunz was Director of the Kunstmuseum Lucerne from 1977-1989, where he curated over 150 exhibitions mainly of contemporary artists. In 1993 he founded and directed the New York Kunsthalle where he introduced artists such as Doug Aitken, Nancy Rubins, and Dan Peterman, and presented special projects with Nancy Spero, Leon Golub, and Louise Bourgeois. From 2004-2006 he was Director of the Ascona Museum of Modern Art in Switzerland. He is editor of Charta Art Books’ Linda Salerno, which contains Salerno’s Black Mirror Series; he curated an exhibition of this work for the Camera Club of New York and the Centro Di Sarro in 2011. He is based in Lugano.
Allen Frame lives in New York where he teaches photography at the School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, and the International Center of Photography. He has also given photography workshops in Mexico City, Oaxaca, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Tijuana, Monterrey, and in Russia. His book Detour, a compilation of his photographs over a decade, was published by Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg in 2001. He is represented by Gitterman Gallery in New York where he had a solo show in 2009. His work has been included in exhibitions recently at the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Fotomuseum in Winterthur, Switzerland. He has been the curator of numerous exhibitions, including Darrel Ellis in 1996 and In This Place at Art in General in 2004; Bearings: the Female Figure at PS122 Gallery in 2006; and Anatomy, Persona, and the Moment: 70’s Experimental Photographs of Luigi Di Sarro at the Camera Club of New York in 2010. He currently serves as the President of the Board of the Camera Club of New York. Frame is an Executive Producer of Joshua Sanchez’s feature film Four, which will be released in the U.S. this summer. www.allenframe.net
Emile Hyperion Dubuisson was born in Paris and is living in New York. Prior to his photographic studies at the International Center of Photography in 2007, he studied cinema at Universite Paris 8 in France. His work is informed by the disciplines of both fields. He has been widely exhibited in the US. Foam Magazine awarded him as one of its Talent 2010 artists. He received the Juror’s Choice award in the Center Santa Fe’s 2011 Project Competition, which honors documentary projects and fine art series. www.emilehyperiondubuisson.com
Mauro Restiffe, born in 1970, lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he is represented by Galeria Fortes Vilaca. He studied at the FAAP University in Sao Paulo and the International Center of Photography in New York and was a Visiting Scholar at New York University from 2001-2003. His solo exhibitions include “Recorrências” at Galeria Fortes Vilaça in São Paulo, Brazil; “Mirante” at PhotoEspaña09 in Madrid, Spain, “Vertigem” at Galeria Mario Sequeira in Braga, Portugal, and “In Process” at Henry Urbach Architecture Gallery in New York. He is currently featured in a solo show at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea, São Paulo. He has participated in many group shows including the BESPhoto Awards in Lisbon in 2011, the 27th Sao Paulo Biennial and the 2006 Taipei Biennial. He is the recipient of the Fellowship ApArtes from the Ministry of Culture, Brasília, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award, NY and The Rema Hort Mann Art Grant, NY. His work is in the permanent collection of the TATE Modern, London, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CGAC, Santiago de Compostela, Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Museu de Arte Moderna, Sao Paulo, Inhotim Instituto de Arte Contemporânea, Minas Gerais, among others.