Featuring the work of three filmmakers, Andreas Bunte (Berlin), Denis Côté (Montreal), and Daniel Eisenberg (Chicago), In Time turns the camera lens on manufacturing and the ways that material, bodies, and value are shaped by industry. The films are punctuated by Varvara & Mar's (Tallinn/Barcelona) Speed of Markets (2014), an installation of seven metronomes set to follow and translate into rhythm the real-time trade volume of the stock markets. Positioning Speed of Markets in relation to the films sets the depicted labor against the time-keeping rhythm of the metronome while grounding the market's abstraction of tangible goods and services back in the sensual.
"It's exciting to present MAD's first film and video exhibition," says Shannon R. Stratton, MAD's William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator. "In Time is an opportunity to not only witness the highly skilled process-based work that is still significant to industrial manufacturing, but also to consider the complex relationships between time, skilled handwork, labor, value, and of course, the craftsmanship of time-based media and its role in capturing and measuring durational activity."
Specific film works in the exhibition include:
Two Films about Pressure, Andreas Bunte, 2013. In this work, two short films are positioned physically back-to-back: Künstliche Diamanten (Synthetic Diamonds) (12:00), which depicts the process of fabricating synthetic diamonds; and Unterdruck (Low-Pressure) (13:16), a slow pan over a German Democratic Republic (GDR) athletic training facility that was built in the 1970s to simulate the effects of high altitude. The works consider the fabrication of a natural process against the backdrop of the former GDR as well as the relationship between the production of a trained athletic body and the pressurized political conditions of the once divided Germany.
Joy of Man's Desiring, Denis Côté, 2014 (68:00). This full-length film by the Québécois director Denis Côté is a hypnotic wandering through factories and workshops, where the camera moves back and forth from machinery and the action of production to the workers themselves at lunch or in conversation. Set in motion by the cryptic words of a young female worker, the film follows her initial declarations and instructions ("Understand what we are building here, OK?") to capture a cast of characters simultaneously working and waxing poetic about the factory, labor, agency, and the human relationship to machinery and tools. Intentionally elliptical, Joy of Man's Desiring does not set out to make social commentary so much as an open reflection on the blue-collar workplace.
The Unstable Object (II), Daniel Eisenberg, 2015 (13:42). Daniel Eisenberg's The Unstable Object is a long-term observational project about the conditions of factory production in the early part of the 21st century. Consisting of nine 20- to 30-minute portraits of specific factories across the globe, the project seeks to portray the particular structural, ethical, sensual, and economic relationships that vary from one factory context to the next. In The Unstable Object (II), Eisenberg has created a three-channel installation portraying manufacturing at Ottobock, a German prosthetics company founded in 1919 by its namesake prosthetist. At the company's factory in Duderstadt, thousands of prosthetic hands, feet, arms, and legs are produced daily for the world market, from wooden feet to microprocessor-controlled knees.
In Time (The Rhythm of the Workshop) is organized by MAD's William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator Shannon R. Stratton and Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager Sophia Merkin.
Support for In Time (The Rhythm of the Workshop) is generously provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
About the Artists
Andreas Bunte is a Berlin-based artist who works in short experimental film and film installations. His work has been shown internationally, with recent solo shows at the Kunstverein Lingen, Germany; the Kunstverein Bielefeld, Germany; Ancient & Modern, London; and Or Gallery, Canada, as well as inclusion in the 4th Biennial of Moving Image. Group shows include Beyond Architecture, Kunstverein Aachen, Germany; Report on Probability, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; Wessen Geschichte, Kunstverein Hamburg, Germany; The Things We Know, Henningsen Gallery, Copenhagen; and Anguish and Enthusiasm, Cornerhouse, Manchester. His work has been covered in Mousse, Contemporary Art Daily, and The Skinny, among other publications.
Based in Montreal, Denis Côté has produced and directed 15 independent short films while working as a journalist and film critic. His work has been exhibited in more than 20 retrospectives around the world, including at the Cinémathèque Québécoise, the Viennale, and the Festival International du Film de La Rochelle. His first feature film, Les États Nordiques (2005), was awarded the Video Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival; his third feature film, Elle Veut le Chaos (All That She Wants, 2008), won the Silver Leopard for Best Direction at the Locarno International Film Festival and the award for Best Canadian Film at the Festival International du Cinéma Francophone en Acadie. The documentary Carcasses (2009) was presented at the Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival and was part of the Canada Top Ten at the Toronto International Film Festival. His film Vic and Flo Saw a Bear (2013),which has now been screened at nearly 90 film festivals internationally, premiered in competition at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Alfred Bauer Prize.
Based in Chicago, Daniel Eisenberg has been making films and video since 1976. His work has been screened throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas, with solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre George Pompidou, Paris; the Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley; the Museum of the Moving Image, New York; the Musée du Cinema, Brussels; De Unie, Rotterdam; and Kino Arsenal, Berlin. His films have been shown at numerous festivals, including the Berlin International Film Festival; the Sydney Film Festival; the London Film Festival; the Jerusalem Film Festival; and the Whitney Biennial, New York. Eisenberg has been the recipient of several awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Creative Capital Foundation Grant, the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. His films are included in the collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou; Arsenal-Experimentale, Berlin; the Nederlands Filmmuseum, Amsterdam; and the Haus des Dokumentarfilm, Stuttgart, as well as numerous university, art, and film school collections. Eisenberg is a professor in the Film, Video, New Media, and Animation and the Visual and Critical Studies Departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin in 2014–2015.
Locating themselves in the field of art and technology, Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet have been working together as an artist duo since 2009. As Varvara & Mar they have completed numerous residencies, including the Seoul Art Space Geumcheon, South Korea; Crida, Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and FACT, Liverpool, UK. They have exhibited and performed internationally, in shows and festivals including Ars Electronica Center, Linz, Austria; Media Facades Festival Helsinki, Finland; Elektronika Festival, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; SP Urban Digital Festival, São Paulo, Brazil; and a solo show at Maribor City Gallery, Slovenia. Known for authoring the open-source knitting machines the Knitic and the Circular Knitic, they have lectured widely on digital media, and both Google/Barbican Centre and Mobile World Capital have commissioned new work. Guljajeva is originally from Estonia and currently a PhD candidate in Art and Design at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Canet, born in Barcelona, is co-founder of Derivart and Lummo. Since 2014 the artist duo has been represented by Priveekollektie Contemporary Art | Design.