2008 WITTE DE WITH, CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION
The show at Witte de With overlaps with de Boer’s solo exhibition at the Frankfurter Kunstverein (The Time That Is Left, 8 Feb – 27 Apr 2008), a collaboration between the two institutions. Together they are co-producing the first publication dedicated to her practice, to be launched in Spring 2008. It includes contributions by Elena Crippa, Lars Bang Larsen, Chus Martinez, Suely Rolnik and Jon Wozzencroft.
De Boer analyzes the possibilities of film in visual art. Her work was included in the 2007 Venice Biennale and was presented at the 2008 Berlin Biennale. She won the Prix Marseille Espérance at FID, Marseille (2006) and Best Experimental Film at the 14th Curtas Vila do Condo Film Festival, Portugal (2006). Her exhibition at Witte de With is timed to coincide with the 2008 International Film Festival Rotterdam.
De Boer’s films often challenge the conventions of the documentary genre. Her work captures the post-Modern shift from communal to individual and fractured narratives. Drawn to individuals with unusual personal histories (often actors, musicians, or intellectuals), she creates intimate portraits that question their own veracity, revealing the near impossibility of narrating one’s life as a coherent biography. In working with the same people over extended periods of time, de Boer explores the disjunctions between lived time and recorded history.
Sylvia Kristel – Paris is constructed around two interviews carried out by the artist two years apart with the actress who rose to fame as the star of “Emmanuelle”. Kristel’s stories wander fluidly through key points in her life, turning mainly around her love affairs and their relationship to the city of Paris. The city as a protagonist of sorts is filmed by de Boer with a super-8 camera. The two interviews vary considerably, revealing inconsistencies in Kristel’s life story, her poignant pauses emphasizing that which is left unsaid.
The soundtrack’s composer is George van Dam. He becomes the subject of Presto, Perfect Sound, which depicts van Dam playing his violin. Presto is the fourth movement of Belà Bartòk’s Sonata for Violin Solo Sz 117 (1944), chosen here for its length, speed and plot-like structure. De Boer edits together the various takes of van Dam’s performance to create perfect sound. She gives priority to the quality and continuity of the sound rather than the image. We can therefore see the cuts, but we do not hear them. For de Boer, whether she is working with a musical score or a personal narration, it is the shifts and changes that occur in doubling and repetition that are the most telling.
Curated by: Zoë Gray, Nicolaus Schafhausen
Artist: Manon de Boer
(born 1966, Kodaikanal, India) is a Dutch video artist living in Brussels, Belgium.
Her work has been exhibited internationally, at the Venice Biennial (2007), Berlin Biennial (2008), São Paulo Biennial (2010), Documenta (2012), Taipei Biennial (2016) and has also been included in numerous film festivals in Hong Kong, Marseille, Rotterdam and Vienna. Her work has been the subject of monographic exhibitions at Witte de With in Rotterdam (2008), Frankfurter Kunstverein (2008), South London Gallery (2010), Contemporary Art Museum of St Louis (2011), Museum of Art Philadelphia (2012), Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven (2013), Secession Vienna (2016), National Gallery Prague (2019) and Gulbenkian Museum in Lissabon (2020), among others.
Supported by: International Film Festival Rotterdam , Mondriaan Foundation
Co-published with Frankfurter Kunstverein and Revolver, on the ocassions of Manon de Boer’s solo exhibition.
The publication includes essays, meditations and transcriptions by Elena Crippa, Paul Elliman, Lars Bang Larsen, Chus Martínez, Suely Rolnik and Jon Wozencroft/Tobi Maier, with an introduction by Martínez, Schafhausen, and Monika Szewczyk.
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