Pierre Bismuth’s videos have parodied Hollywood productions before, but will he stop now that he has his own Oscar? Bismuth won Best Original Screenplay for his collaboration with Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He and Gondry first teamed up a decade ago for a French music video, and it was Bismuth who proposed to Gondry a project based on memory erasure. Bismuth’s work, which includes drawings, collages, and musical compositions in addition to video projections, has always wittily played with language and undertaken deadpan manipulations of popular culture, and this collection provides the full range of the French artist’s output, including his new Unfolded Origami series. Conceptual art theorist Alexander Alberro adds a significant scholarly essay.
The seclusion of islands has long made them ideal screens for our fantasies and terrors, choice locations for military and scientific assays, and perfect settings for escapes, incarcerations and battles for survival. In consideration of these dynamics, Cabinet38 features Julia Wolcott discussing islands in science fiction; Jeffrey Kastner on being marooned; Janet Connelly on West Berlin as an island; Simon Rezak on island penal colonies; the story of the “Chinese Princess” Der Ling, a onetime student of Isadora Duncan who set up court on a Mexican island in the 1920s; and an artist project by Jeremy Drummond. Off-the-island treasures include Anthony Grafton on the Last Supper’s culinary legacy; Aaron Schuster on cinematic sneezes; Jonathan Hardy on the Spanish urban grid; Maggie Nelson on the color red; George Pendle on the first computer dating system; Allen S. Weiss on Japanese garden design; and an artist project by Alejandro Cesarco.
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