Opening Reception Thursday, October 7, 8 – 10 pm. Artist Talk Saturday, October 9, 1 – 3pm. To December 5th.
The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in North America of work by Amsterdam based, artist-filmmaker Mark Boulos. Boulos was trained as a documentary filmmaker and is now working on gallery installations. The exhibition features a new, three channel, three projection work, No Permanent Address (2010) and production stills, the two channel, double projection work, All That is Solid Melts Into Air (2008) that was recently exhibited at the 6th Berlin Biennale, and the single channel monitor work, The Word Was God (2007).
Boulos’ work revolves around his interest in revolutionary ardour and religious ecstasy. In the twenty minute, All That is Solid Melts Into Air, one screen portrays the Nigerian rebel group MEND who are trying to sabotage the oil industry in the Niger Delta. Boulos reveals the Marxist politics of group members and their adherence to the war god Egbisu who they believe, gives them invulnerability to bullets. The sequence climaxes in a war dance. On the other screen are scenes from the Chicago Stock Exchange (where oil is traded) on the day of the Bear Stearns collapse. The frenzied traders and gesticulating warriors echo and face each other. This work was shown at the 2008 Sidney Biennale and at the 2010 Berlin Biennale. All That is Solid Melts Into Air has never been shown in North America.
The first presentation of No Permanent Address is at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. The work is for three screens and consists of portraits and vignettes from life with members of the New People’s Army, a Maoist guerrilla group in the Philippines who have recently allowed same-sex marriages among the cadres. Boulos talks to various members of the group and witnesses their daily life. The piece climaxes with a tense preparation for a possible encounter with the Philippine Army (which does not, in the end, occur).
In a geo-political world where more and more struggles for sovereignty are labeled “terrorist”, Boulos gives a non-journalistic, diaristic and very human portrait of people who have turned to militancy.
Mark Boulos is an artist-filmmaker living and working in Amsterdam. During 2010, his work has been exhibited at the 6th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, in the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, and in a solo exhibition at AR/GE Kunst Galerie Museum in Bolzano. In 2008, Boulos participated in the Biennale of Sydney and had his first solo show at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. His work has also been shown at the 2nd Biennale of Thessaloniki, the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, the Swiss Art Awards, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Bloomberg Space, the Hayward Gallery, the Barbican Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Art, London.
Boulos is the recipient of awards from the Netherlands Film Fonds, the Fonds BKVB, Film London, the British Documentary Film Foundation and the Arts Council England. Born in Boston, USA in 1975, Boulos received his BA in Philosophy from Swarthmore College and Deep Springs College (USA), his MA from the National Film and Television School (England), and held a Fulbright Scholarship at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam.
This exhibition has been made possible with funding from The Canada Council for the Arts, the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands Film Fund, and the generous support of our Belkin Curator’s Forum members.
photo: Mark Boulos, Ka Teteng (Comrade Teteng), 2010. C print. Courtesy of the artist.