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Hirshhorn Museum’s Black Box Features Video Works by Magnus Wallin

Monday, December 11, 2006

Media only:
Gabriel Einsohn (202) 633-2822; einsohng@si.edu
Public only:
(202) 633-1000; www.hirshhorn.si.edu

The Hirshhorn Museum announces a new Black Box presentation by Swedish artist Magnus Wallin. The Hirshhorn’s Black Box highlights recent film and video works by a diverse range of emerging and established international artists. “Black Box: Magnus Wallin” is on view from Friday, Dec. 15 through May 20, 2007, following the recent presentation of video works by Danish artist Jesper Just. Wallin’s presentation features two works: “Anatomic Flop” (2003) and “Exercise Parade” (2001). Each work is approximately 3 minutes and includes sound. Films run continuously during museum hours.

Wallin’s first works used performance and installation techniques, through which he created visceral, psychologically charged events and environments. Since the 1990s, his work has retained its intensity while shifting his principal medium to animation. Drawn from his own dreams and nightmares, the scenarios suggest fables or myths. The characters are anonymous “super bodies,” evoking both classical ideals of physical beauty and a futuristic vision of clinical, pure muscle forms. The characters enact challenges in a timeless, airless space that recalls the aesthetic of video games and they are faced with a fate that is perpetually beyond their control. This is Wallin’s first museum exhibition in the United States, although he has exhibited widely in Europe and gained notoriety at the 2001 Istanbul Biennale. Wallin (born 1965, Sweden) currently works in Malm?, Sweden.

Following Wallin’s presentation, works by American artist Takeshi Murata will be featured in the Hirshhorn’s Black Box beginning in April 2007. Like Wallin, Murata produces works involving masterful manipulation of digital animation, while also integrating hand-built dimensions to his films. Murata’s works reference the Hirshhorn’s popular 2005 exhibition “Visual Music,” which explored ideas of synesthesia, psychedelia, abstraction, intense color and hypnotic sound tracks—characteristics that describe Murata’s mesmerizing short films.

“Black Box: Mangus Wallin” is organized by associate curator Kelly Gordon and is located on the lower level of the museum.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian’s museum of international modern and contemporary art, has some 11,500 paintings, sculptures, photography, film and video, mixed media installations and works on paper in its collection. The Hirshhorn maintains an active and diverse exhibition program and offers an array of free public programs that explore the art of our time. The museum, located at Independence Avenue and Seventh Street S.W., is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25), and admission is free. 

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