Cover 'Allegory of the Cave Painting'

Book launch ‘Allegory of the Cave Painting’ / with performance by Jeremiah Day and film program

Location: Cinema Zuid – Waalsekaai 47 – 2000 Antwerp –

‘Allegory of the Cave Painting’, a project by Extra City Kunsthal, takes the prehistoric Gwion Gwion paintings from Western Australia as mental model. Recent research has established that these paintings are alive, colonized by red bacteria and black fungi, ‘living pigments’ that maintain the chromatic vividness of the figures: the Gwion Gwion paintings are as much a product of prehistory as they are made now. The group exhibition, at Extra City and at Middelheim Museum, assembles modern and contemporary artworks in response to these paintings’ materiality, meaning and time. Accompanying the exhibition an extended reader is published.

‘Allegory of the Cave Painting’, ed. Mihnea Mircan, Vincent van Gerven Oei, Mousse Milan, 2015, English, 456 p., ISBN 978-88-6749-116-2, 26 euro
For sale at Extra City (during exhibition periods) or via Extra City’s online bookshop.

Book launch at Cinema Zuid, on 18 March at 20:00
- Performance by Jeremiah Day (‘Ghost Dance Song’, 2012)
- Book presentation by Mihnea Mircan, Raphaël Pirenne, Lucy Steeds, Vincent van Gerven Oei and Vivian Ziherl
- Film program:
Tacita Dean, ‘JG’, 2013
Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni, ‘Bassae Bassae’, 2014
Pierre Huyghe, ‘Untitled (Human Mask)’, 2014

More information

- Performance by Jeremiah Day, ‘Ghost Dance Song’, 2012
“He said ‘You spend so much time trying to be in the world, maybe you should consider what might come from being out of it.’” The first part of the performance takes place outdoors and looks at the political struggles of the Native Americans as an illuminating example. The second part of the work includes photographs of the Greek countryside (an area to be developed into wind-electricity farms by French companies), the Berlin neighborhood of Marzahn, and a text that includes the subjects of ghosts, cathedrals and in particular zombies, their roots in the period of revolutionary Haiti.

- Book presentation
The ‘Allegory of the Cave Painting’ reader, published by Mousse Milan, will be introduced by Mihnea Mircan, Raphaël Pirenne, Lucy Steeds, Vincent van Gerven Oei and Vivian Ziherl.
The publication includes contributions by Haseeb Ahmed, Ignacio Chapela, Justin Clemens, Georges Didi-Huberman, Jonathan Dronsfield, Christopher Fynsk, Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, Natasha Ginwala & Vivian Ziherl, Adam Staley Groves, Sean Gurd, Adam Jasper, Susanne Kriemann, Brenda Machosky, Mihnea Mircan, Alexander Nagel, Rosalind Nashashibi, Tom Nicholson, Jack Pettigrew, Raphaël Pirenne, Susan Schuppli, Lucy Steeds, Jonas Tinius, Marina Vishmidt, Christopher Witmore, Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll.

- Tacita Dean, ‘JG’, 2013
26 mins, Courtesy of Studio Tacita Dean
‘JG’ examines connections between J.G. Ballard’s ‘Voices of Time’ and Robert Smithson’s ‘Spiral Jetty’. Dean notes: “While Smithson’s jetty spiralled downward in the artist’s imagination through layers of sedimentation and prehistory, coiling beneath the surface of the lake to the origins of time in the core of the earth below, the mandala in ‘The Voices of Time’ is its virtual mirror, kaleidoscoping upwards into cosmic integration and the tail end of time.” ‘JG’ was shot in the saline landscapes of Utah and California using Dean’s recently developed system of aperture gate masking: a process similar to stencilling, which allows her to use differently shaped masks to expose and re-expose the negative within a single film frame.

- Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni, ‘Bassae Bassae’, 2014
9 mins, Courtesy of the artists
Bassae is an ancient Greek temple in the Arcadian mountains of the Peloponnese. ‘Bassae’ is a film made by Jean-Daniel Pollet in 1964. ‘Bassae Bassae’, a contemporary reprise of the original work, looks at that which has become mute and invisible. Since the beginning, in 1987, of restoration work, the temple has been covered by a large white tent. Forty years ago, Pollet described how stones had fallen back into silence, as the gods withdrew from the scene. ‘Bassae Bassae’ shows the temple now made invisible by its very restoration, by a decaying, white piece of canvas – a brutal sign that asks, of the present, what gods we build our ruins for.

- Pierre Huyghe, ‘Untitled (Human Mask)’, 2014
9 mins, Courtesy of the artist, Hauser & Wirth, London and Anna Lena Films, Paris
The film is inspired by a real situation, in which a monkey – wearing the mask of a young woman – has been trained to work as a waitress in a Tokyo restaurant. The film opens with footage of the deserted site of Fukushima in 2011, the camera functioning as a drone that scales the wreckage. This is followed by scenes of the monkey alone in her habitat, silhouetted against the empty, dark restaurant. In this dystopian setting, an animal acts out the human condition: trapped, endlessly repeating her unconscious role.

Logo's ACP book launch

Tacita Dean, ‘The Book End of Time’, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London
Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni, ‘Bassae Bassae’, 2014
Jeremiah Day, ‘Ghost Dance Song’, 2012 (18.03.2015, Cinema Zuid Antwerp, during the book launch of 'Allegory of the Cave Painting', a project by Extra City, photo Anna Rulecka)
Pierre Huyghe, ‘Untitled (Human Mask)’, 2014
Cover 'Allegory of the Cave Painting'
Jeremiah Day, ‘Ghost Dance Song’, 2012 (18.03.2015, Cinema Zuid Antwerp, during the book launch of 'Allegory of the Cave Painting', a project by Extra City, photo Anna Rulecka)