Art Radar Asia

Contemporary art trends and news from Asia and beyond

  • Photobucket
  • About Art Radar Asia

    Art Radar Asia News conducts original research and scans global news sources to bring you selected topical stories about the taste-changing, news-making and the up and coming in Asian contemporary art.
  • Advertisements

Posts Tagged ‘Guy Ben-Ner’

MOMA acquires Israeli artist Guy Ben-Ner video Moby Dick

Posted by artradar on April 20, 2009


ISRAELI NEW MEDIA

This year Israeli artist’s Guy Ben-Ner’s Moby Dick (2000) has been acquired by MOMA. Ben-Ner was born in 1969 and is resident in New York and Berlin. He represented Israel in Venice Biennale 2005.

His art, resonant with socio-political allusion, is deep but far from bleak. His comic soap-opera style videos retell stories appropriated from other cultures and feature his family and household objects in a gloriously amusing, jerky slap-stick style.

Guy Ben-Ner, Moby Dick, video still, 2000

Guy Ben-Ner, Moby Dick, video still, 2000

In New York Magazine, Jeremy Salz described why Ben-Ner’s work is so different

All art comes from other art, and all immigrants come from other places. What makes Ben-Ner’s art stand out is that he puts these ideas together so well, continually cannibalizing the culture and objects he encounters, trying to make these things work for his art and his family. In this way, he echoes the immigrant’s story and the artist’s quest.1

Link to part of Ben-Ner Moby Dick video on youtube

Ben-Ner’s Moby Dick is a sly, improvisational retelling of Herman Melville’s novel in the form of a short, silent video punctuated with intertitles and magic-trick asides.

Turning the kitchen of his family home into an impromptu set, Ben-Ner and his young daughter reenact the novel from the time Ishmael (Ben-Ner) arrives at the Spouter Inn until the denouement of the story, when Captain Ahab (also played by Ben-Ner) meets his demise at sea. His daughter Elia plays the landlord of the Spouter Inn and later Pip, the deck boy of the whaling ship Pequod.

Ben-Ner’s rendition of Moby Dick is reminiscent of early silent cinema’s melodrama and slapstick comedy routines. The props that turn the kitchen into a theatrical set are entirely homemade and are wildly inventive. Cabinets and sink first stand in as the bar at the Spouter Inn, then with a wooden mast added they become the Pequod floating atop the sea (the kitchen floor). Simple cinematic illusions using magic tricks, animation, and sight gags abound, making reference to the comedic ploys of Buster Keaton and the magical trickery of Georges Méliès. The playful antics of father and daughter are fun to watch, but the work is not simply a parody. It is, rather, an investigation of creativity and innocence, the father/child relationship, and the home as a site for wayward adult and adolescent fantasies.2

note 1: Review of Guy Ben-Ner video in ‘Stealing Beauty’ New York magazine by Jeremy  Saltz

note 2: The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art , p. 191

note 3: Details of the Guy Ben-Ner’s Moby Dick in MOMA collection

note 4: Gallery show 2006 press release lists other videos

Related posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia to find out which Asian artists are in major museum collections

Advertisements

Posted in Acquisitions, Children, Collectors, Domestic, Family, Israeli, Museum collectors, New York, Social, Video, Videos, West Asian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Asian artists on show in Liverpool Biennial September to November 2008

Posted by artradar on August 31, 2008


EVENT BIENNIAL LIVERPOOL

Celebrating 10 years of commissioning ambitious and challenging new work by leading international artists, the 5th edition of Liverpool Biennial’s International exhibition MADE UP runs from 20 September to 30 November 2008.

Artists from Asia include:

Khalil Rabah

Khalil Rabah

Khalil Rabah (Palestine 1961)

Using narratives that hover between fiction and reality, Palestinian Khalil Rabah’s installations, objects, videos, actions and interventions articulate the effects of war on Palestinian society, its economy and identity.

His ongoing Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind, for instance, which has had manifestations in Athens, Istanbul, Amsterdam and elsewhere, playfully interrogates history as an accumulation of fact and artifice. This fictionalised museum also questions the notion of archiving and the idea of the museum itself as a repository of objects and construction of collective knowledge. Similarly, in constructing a London office for the United States of Palestine Airlines in 2007, or planting olive trees – uprooted from their original home in Palestine – outside the United Nations in Geneva in 1995, Rabah provocatively plays out ownership of the past and reclamation of a future currently denied.

Yayoi Kusama (Japan 1929)

Working across a broad range of media, Kusama is perhaps best known for her compulsive repetition of a recurring vocabulary of forms – polka dots, or phallic tubers, for example – often rendered on bright yellow or red backgrounds.

U-Ram Choe (Korea 1970)

Kinetic sculpture maker U-Ram Choe’s work is a fanciful dialogue of aesthetics and machinery, and explores themes of biological transformation, flight, and movement.

Guy Ben-Ner (Israel 1969)

Low-tech, but ingeniously inventive, Guy Ben-Ner’s videos often centre on home and family, exploring, exposing and exploiting the relationship he has with his children.

Atelier Bow Wow (Japan) and Ai Weiwei (China) are also on show.

See (in new window)

If you enjoyed this post and would like to receive email updates direct to your inbox, subscribe to Art Radar Asia

Posted in Biennials, Chinese, Israeli, Japanese, Kinetic, Korean, New Media, Palestinian, Sculpture, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »