Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler: Sound Speed Marker
5 December 2014 – 3 May 2015 Grand Paris Texas: 5 December 2014 – 11 January 2015 Movie Mountain: 16 January – 22 February 2015 Giant: 6 March – 3 May 2015
Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler, Production still, Giant 2014,Photo Credit: Chris Austin, Courtesy of Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York and Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin
Teresa Hubbard (Irish/ American/ Swiss, born in Dublin, Ireland 1965) / Alexander Birchler (Swiss, born in Baden, Switzerland 1962) have been working collaboratively in video, photography and sculpture since 1990. Their work invites suggestive, open-ended reflections on memory, place and cinema.
IMMA will host their recently completed trilogy of films in a changing display from December 2014 through to Spring 2015. The exhibition will feature all three projects in the completed trilogy and will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue. Each component of the trilogy interweaves and unpacks layers of cinema history. The first part, completed in 2009 and titled Grand Paris Texas, considers simultaneously the physical and social space of a dead cinema, a forgotten song and the inhabitants of a small town. Running from 5 December 2014 - 11 January 2015, the film connects three seminal movies of the southwest: Wim Wenders’s Paris, Texas (1984), Bruce Bereford’s Tender Mercies (1983) and King Baggot’s classic silent film, Tumbleweeds (1925).
Movie Mountain (Méliès), a two-channel video completed in 2011, explores the residue of cinema and social terrain around the site of Movie Mountain in West Texas and will run from 16 January to the 1 March 2015. Searching for the origin of the mountain’s name, Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler embarked on a journey traversing the landscape of early silent-era film production and uncovered a possible relationship between Movie Mountain and Gaston Méliès, the lesser known brother and business partner of the famous filmmaker George Méliès.
Giant (2014), running from 6 March to 3 May, interweaves signs of life and vistas of a decaying movie set built outside of Marfa: the Reata mansion from the 1956 Warner Bros. film Giant starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean. After filming was completed the three-sided facade was left behind in the landscape. Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler explore the skeletal remains of the set as seasons change, day turns to night and parts of the structure swing and fall off. Scenes of a film crew recording the current conditions are juxtaposed with a Warner Bros. office in 1955, where a secretary types up the location contract for the motion picture that has yet to be created.
Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler's work is held in numerous public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian, Washington D. C.; Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland; Modern Art Museum Fort Worth; Museum of Fine Arts Houston; Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan and the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany. Their exhibition history includes venues such as the Venice Biennial; Tate Museum Liverpool; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Reina Sofia Museum Madrid; Kunsthaus Graz and the Mori Museum, Tokyo.
Talks and Events
Artists’ Conversation | Teresa Hubbard + Alexander Birchler Saturday 7 March 2015, 2.00–3.00pm, Lecture Room, IMMA Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler discuss their exhibition Sound Speed Marker with Seán Kissane (Curator, Exhibitions, IMMA). Audio coming soon.
Artists’ Response | Sarah Pierce and Gerard Byrne Wednesday 25 March 2015, 6.30 -7.30pm, Lecture Room, IMMA Artists Sarah Pierce and Gerard Byrne will discuss past-tense fictions and ready-made dramas in response to the film processes of Teresa Hubbard/Alexander Birchler’s collaborative practice. Please book here
This exhibition is organised in association with Ballroom Marfa, Texas and supported by Pro Helvetia.