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New video gallery opens, and more


Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y by Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez, screening at the new SCREENING gallery.

Look for Philadelphia’s newest gallery, opening Friday. It’s called SCREENING, run by Matthew Suib and Nadia Hironaka, who say it’s the only gallery dedicated to the exhibition of innovative and challenging works of art on film and video.

For its inaugural exhibition, Screening presents Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y by Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez. Produced in 1997, Grimonprez’ comprehensive and prescient chronology of worldwide airline hijackings combines documentary imagery with narration inspired by Don DeLillo’s White Noise and Mao II to “highlight the value of the spectacular in our catastrophe culture.”

I asked Suib and Hironaka what the relationship to VOX Populi was, since the gallery is in one of the rooms in VOX’s new space. Here’s what they wrote:

This is not replacing the video lounge (which we were actually responsible for starting), just bigger and better–a venue geared towards showing video and film, albeit a little snug, with less of a focus on emerging artists and more focus on nationally and internationally recognized artists who we find inspiring. We’re not thinking long-term, though we can’t say where it’ll wind up at this point.

The best way to describe the relationship to Vox is probably “semi-autonomous”. We’re a separate entity, but rely on Vox for administrative support as well as gallery monitoring. We have control over the venue, otherwise. The space we’re in is rented from Vox, but will be available for use for other projects (by Vox members) when we’re done with this one. Screening is a project as much as a gallery–a way to share compelling works and promote video in Philly, which is sadly lagging in this otherwise ubiquitous medium.

The first selection is a statement about the kind of stuff SCREENINGS hope to show: Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y garnered ‘best director’ awards at the San Francisco Film Festival and Toronto’s Images Festival. Since its acclaimed premiere at Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris) and Documenta X (Kassel), the film has toured worldwide.

Our man James

This in from James Johnson, whose photography installations in cardboard cartons are poignant, nostalgic and just fun:

Just had some work published in Wonka Vision Magazine. Check it out.

The link is to a pdf file that Johnson himself put up since Wonka online does not equial Wonka offline. Here’s Wonka. artblog interviewed Johnson when he took over the Photography Department at Moore College.

A local blog

Well, I didn’t quite get this up during the Design Philadelphia to-dos, but still thought this was worth posting. Caroline Tiger, aka design-phan, covers design in Philadelphia, and sometimes the images are pretty interesting. If you’re at the shopping-for-the-apartment phase in your life, Tiger will show you a thing or two about what’s available that’s really cool. And if you’re past the necessity phase in nest building, some really cool and irresistable stuff also turns up here. Get past the breathless shop-till-you-drop tone, and dig the stuff.