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Barbara Stiegler 5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
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Upcoming Events in January: TRK 10361 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Artist Talk: Clément Cogitore

It seems to me that, behind each image, something resists and reoccurs regardless of the era, method, or technology used. It is this irreducible element that interests me.” Clément Cogitore, Institut Francais, 2019

French filmmaker and visual artist Clément Cogitore is deeply interested in the origins of images as well as the technologies, rituals, and social histories that underpin them. The artist, whose multifaceted practice encompasses feature-length films, video, installations, and photographs, situates his work halfway between cinema and contemporary art. Much of his work revolves around the nature of collective memory and the role of rituals within communities. His 2015 film, Neither Heaven Nor Earth, follows a troop of soldiers deployed in Afghanistan as they disappear one by one, while his video installation, The Evil Eye (2018), distorts hundreds of stock photos. Join Cogitore for a talk on how he uses different languages offered to him by images to invent new ways of examining the relationship between humankind and its representations.

The program will include a screening of Cogitore’s celebrated short film Les Indes Galantes (2017, 5'26 min), which led to his first foray into stage direction for a live production of the work at the Opéra de Paris in 2019.

Cogitore’s work has been shown at major museums internationally, including the Palais de Tokyo, Centre Georges Pompidou, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Modern Art, and Kunsthaus Baselland. In 2018, Cogitore was honored with France’s prestigious Marcel Duchamp Prize, named after the esteemed artist whose work and legacy are the focus of Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection. His talk will be accompanied by a screening of his film, Braguino, on Saturday, February 8.

About Les Indes Galantes

Les Indes Galantes (The Amorous Indies) is an opera-ballet created by Jean-Philippe Rameau in 1735. Rameau was inspired by dances performed in 1723 in Paris by Mitchigamea chiefs brought from the Americas by French settlers. Clément Cogitore adapts a short part of Rameau’s ballet in a 2017 film—also called Les Indes Galantes—by mobilizing a group of Krump dancers. Krump, an art form born in South Central Los Angeles in the 1990s, grew out of the aftermath of the Rodney King riots against police brutality. Amidst this charged atmosphere, young dancers started to embody the violent tensions of the physical, social, and political body. Both the dance performed in Paris in 1723 and the rebellious Krump dancers of the 1990s shape a reenactment of Rameau’s original libretto, staging young people dancing on the verge of a volcano.

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