When the painting ends, the filmmaking begins
“I have always been interested in building bridges between cinema and art, so when Locarno festival director Olivier Père suggested to include films by contemporary artists in the programme, I was immediately with him,” said Hans Ulric Obrist, Swiss-born art historian, curator and critic, and co-director of London’s Serpentine Gallery (currently presenting an exhibiton of Yoko Ono).
This year also a member of the jury for the Concorso internazionale, Obrist has organised the Omaggio a Sarah Morris, the UK-born American artist and director, following up on the presentations of Algerian artist and filmmaker Philippe Parreno (2010) and Albanian video artist Anri Sala (2011).
“I have known Morris for more than 15 years, and while some artists makes an occasional films, as a one-off event, she has a whole body of work from she started in 1998, besides her astonishing abstract paintings. She has always a film in the making,” Obrist explained.
“Morris investigates cities – as an artist she knows it is difficult to make a portrait of a city, because the moment you have finished it, the city is elsewhere. But when the painting ends, the filmmaking begins, captivating this complexity, or psychology, of urban environment.”
“Her films are generally shown at galleries and museums – they are, in fact, independent works of art, since they are never produced on more than ten prints – and although autonomous, they are often juxtaposed to an exhibition of her paintings.”
“In Lcarno it is only films, only, spearheaded by her latest, Rio. Morris is very interested in the Olympics, she has already portrayed Munich (in 1972) and Beijing, and we are ready for the host of the 2016 games, while the rest of the world is watching London,” Obrist concluded.
Rio, Sarah Morris’ most recent, 90-minute feature (2012), has its world premiere in Locarno’s Fuori concorso. The Omaggio a Sarah Morris in Histoire(s) du cinéma includes Chicago (2011), Points on a Line (2010) 1972 (2008), Beijing (2008), Robert Towne (2006), Los Angeles (2004), Miami (2002), Capital (2000), AM/PM (1999), Midtown (1998).
Jorn Rossing Jensen