The University of Chicago News Office
Mar. 5, 2002 Press Contact: Karen Reimer
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Michel Auder: A Retrospective

March 10-April 21, 2002
Opening Reception Sunday, March 10 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Renaissance Society is pleased to present the first United States retrospective of video artist Michel Auder, with continuous screenings of over eighteen works from throughout the course of his career, including Five Ring Circus (1997), a work screened on five adjacent video monitors, and the premier of three new pieces. From his early film Keeping Busy, in which wife-to-be Viva Superstar and others of Warhol’s circle brought ennui to previously undiscovered heights, through his divorce and eight-year heroin addiction, to his remarriage to Cindy Sherman, Michel Auder has recorded thousands of hours of raw footage, later distilled into discrete video works, now presented together for the first time.

Video recording was invented in 1956 as an intermediary in live broadcast television. It was a cheap means to pre-record and edit regularly scheduled programs taped from live events. Roughly twelve years later, conceptual and minimalist artists would take an interest in the medium, making “artist videos” at a time when there was no such thing as a “video artist.” Michel Auder is an exception. He chose video as his primary means of expression well before video was accepted as a practice in its own right.

Born in Soisson France, in 1945, Auder began making films at the age of 18. As an aspiring young filmmaker, he fell under the influence of the French New Wave and experimental cinema, most notably Jean-Luc Godard and Andy Warhol. In 1969, Auder met and eventually married Viva, one of Warhol’s principal talents. A year later, they moved to New York where Auder has since resided. That same year, he purchased a Sony Portapak, one of the first commercially available video cameras. Since then he has persistently documented the people, places and events that are his life.

Video allowed Auder to translate Warhol’s talent for making the banal glamorous and the glamorous banal into a diary practice which Auder himself did not consider fine art. His earliest works are travel logs and endearing portraits of friends including Hannah Wilke, Alice Neel, Annie Sprinkle, Cindy Sherman, Louis Waldon, and Larry Rivers. The label “video artist” was applied retroactively when Auder began exhibiting his work in 1980. At that time, he produced a series of works including scripted biographical material and video collages appropriating material from television. As the quality of video cameras improved and access to editing facilities increased, Auder’s skills as an auteur became more apparent. He is a consummate voyeur, one who literally reads scenes of intimacy, exchange and daily life as verses of poetry unto themselves.

Related Events

Video Screenings
Curated by Jennifer Reeder, these two evenings feature a range of work by some of today’s outstanding video talents. These events are free and will take place in Cobb Hall Room 307 (directly below the gallery).

PROGRAM 1 –– Tuesday, March 19, 7:00 p.m.
Self Reflecting, 1999, Kirsten Stoltmann
Final Exit, 2001, Joe Gibbons
Bad Ideas for Paradise, 2002, Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby
Getting Stronger Every Day, 2001, Miranda July
Sad Disco Fantasia, 2001, Steve Reinke
34 Flower Types for Henry Darger, 2001, Paul Chan
Karaoke, 1998, Donigan Cumming
Flight, 1999, Les Leveque
The Tower of Industrial Life, 2000, Alfred Guzzetti

PROGRAM 2 –– Wednesday, March 20, 7:00 p.m.
Untitled, 2001, Jenn Robbins
Sapphire and the Slave Girl, 1995, Leah Gilliam
Confluence, 2000, Van McElwee
Moon River, 1999, Patrick Wright and Rebecca Dolan
From Time to Time, 2001, Kristen Van Deventer
Nest of Tens, 2000, Miranda July
Unauthorized Collaboration, 2000, Ben Rubin
Asthc, 2000, Paul Simpson
No Sunshine, 1999, Bjorn and Ronald Melhuis

Harry Sparnaay

Wednesday April 17, 7:00 p.m.
bass clarinetist
With over a hundred solo works written for him, Sparnaay has been credited with extending the technique and repertoire for the bass clarinet. He has played solo at festivals throughout the world; has been a featured performer with many major orchestras and ensembles including the ASKO Ensemble, the BBC Symphony Orchestra,the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; and has appeared with leading conductors including Luciano Berio, Peter Eötvös, Diego Masson, and David Stock. The evening’s bill features compositions by Larry Moss, Joji Yuasa, Claudio ambrosini, Riccardo Piacentini, Maki Ishii, Roderik de Man and Wayne Siegel. This event is free and will take place in the gallery.

MUSEUM INFORMATION: Established in 1915, The Renaissance Society is Chicago’s oldest contemporary art museum. Focusing on the forefront of the visual arts, The Renaissance Society maintains an international reputation as one of the finest resources for contemporary art. In addition to exhibitions, The Renaissance Society also sponsors concerts, performances, film and video screenings, and talks by noted artists and critics.

Museum Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10:00am-5:00 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 12:00-5:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays. Admission is free.
Last modified at 04:02 PM CST on Wednesday, March 06, 2002.

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