Goodbye Illuminated Archives; Welcome Participant

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Installation view of Participant, Vesna Pavlović’s exhibition at G Fine Art Gallery. Photo: Vesela Sretenović

As Illuminated Archive, an Intersections project by Vesna Pavlović is approaching its end (closing Sunday, September 28), a new project by the Serbian-born, Nashville-based artist just opened on Saturday, September 13, at G Fine Art in its new 14th Street location.

In this exhibition, the artist continues to explore the archive of images, this time drawn from the Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade, Serbia. This brings into play not only the photographic records of the socialist era under the President Josip Broz Tito, she remembers as Participant, but also her own memories of a time that no longer exists.

Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Vesela Sretenović

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Installation view of Participant, Vesna Pavlović’s exhibition at G Fine Art Gallery.

I Want to Be There

I saw Lars von Trier’s film Breaking the Waves when it was released in theaters in 1996. Even though it featured stellar acting and was filled to the brim with gut-wrenching drama, what I remember most are the transporting bits of film used as chapter stops. Imagine my delight when I learned that Per Kirkeby is responsible for them. It wasn’t his first, or last, foray in to film. We’re featuring his 1970 film Deer Garden: The Romantic Forest in our current exhibition. He’s also worked with von Trier on Dancer in the Dark (which we are screening in December, along with Breaking the Waves) and Antichrist.

In Breaking the Waves, the story is presented in chapters, like a novel, and each is introduced with chapter number and name during an interlude of a landscape backed by a 1970s pop song. The views are spectacular. The one for chapter two has stayed with me most, and I’ve often daydreamed of being there, where ever that is. I had never thought to look up Kirkeby’s titles online to see if they had been captured on their own, and of course they have been. The image quality in the YouTube versions isn’t as beautiful as watching the movie in the theater, but you can still see the incredible shifting northern European light and lush land. On the big screen, they are enveloping. Watching them now after becoming better acquainted with Kirkeby’s painting, I certainly see the resonance. The lovely scene for the epilogue of a creek rushing under the arch of a stone bridge can’t help but bring to mind his painting Dark Cave (The Dream about Uxmal and the Unknown Grottos of Yucatan) (1967).

And the winner is . . .

Last night, a curious audience sat down in our auditorium to screen ten videos–the jury-selected finalists of the Snapshot Home Movie Contest. Afterwards, one by one, audience members dropped a red ticket into one of ten boxes, each marked with the name of a finalist.The video with the most red tickets would win the “crowd favorite” title along with a slate of great prizes, including exposure during the DC Shorts Film Festival.

Meet the winner, Marie McGrory, a student at The George Washington University. Watch her video below, which she created during her recent spring break. Marie filmed virtually everything that happened at her family’s New York home that week, and edited her footage down to a final story that focuses on the importance of food in her family and their St. Patrick’s Day traditions. As jury-member and Washington Post Style Blog writer Maura Judkis observes, Marie’s delightful parents make incredibly compelling characters.

The McGrory Clan from Marie McGrory on Vimeo.