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Eric Baudelaire / MATRIX 257

February 4, 2015 - February 21, 2015


Download the exhibition brochure (PDF).

is the first of several nomadic projects that will take place in various off-site locations while BAM/PFA prepares to move to its new building in downtown Berkeley. The exhibition features the work of French-American artist Eric Baudelaire (b. 1973), who lives and works in Paris. Baudelaire’s work explores intricate facets of representation through a keen unraveling of entangled narratives.

The exhibition unfolds in two parts: film screenings at the PFA Theater on February 4 and 5 and The Secession Sessions, presented at Kadist Art Foundation in San Francisco from February 7 to 21. In The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images (2011) and its sequel, The Ugly One (2013), Baudelaire complicates the distinctions between documentary and narrative genres to reflect on the real and imagined memories of the protagonists, whose lives become dislocated in time and place. The Anabasis examines the intertwined stories of Japanese New Wave filmmaker Masao Adachi, who joined the Japanese Red Army in Beirut in 1974, and May Shigenobu, daughter of the leader of the same left-wing revolutionary faction. For The Ugly One, also set in Beirut, Baudelaire collaborated with Adachi on the storyline, which pivots around two lovers and former resistance fighters who attempt to remember and make sense of their pasts.

The Secession Sessions explores another place caught in a contested narrative—the disputed region of Abkhazia, located along the eastern shores of the Black Sea, about which Baudelaire states: “To many observers, Abkhazia is simply a pawn in the Great Game Russia and the West have always played in the Caucasus.” Consisting of a new film, Letters to Max (2014); a pseudo, unofficial embassy (“Anembassy”) for Abkhazia staffed by the former foreign minister of Abkhazia, Maxim Gvinjia (also the star of the film); and a program of conversations and public events, The Secession Sessions invites visitors to investigate the question of statehood and representation through the prism of the stateless state of Abkhazia. Baudelaire establishes an open space for discourse and contemplation, while acknowledging both sides of the politically fraught situation.

Screenings at the PFA Theater

Wednesday / 2.4.15
The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images
Eric Baudelaire (France/Japan/Lebanon, 2011)

Introduction/Apsara DiQuinzio
In Conversation/Eric Baudelaire and Joseph del Pesco

Revolution, exile, landscapes, and memory: the parallel tales of notorious Japanese New Wave filmmaker Masao Adachi, a scriptwriter for Oshima and radical leftist who joined the extreme Japanese Red Army in Beirut, and May Shigenobu, the daughter of the JRA’s founder. With short, The Makes. (92 mins)

Thursday / 2.5.15
The Ugly One
Eric Baudelaire (France/Lebanon/Japan, 2013)

Introduction/Joseph del Pesco
In Conversation/Eric Baudelaire and Apsara DiQuinzio

Masao Adachi narrates Baudelaire’s fragmented tale of war-torn Beirut, built around the travails of two lovers and former resistance fighters. (101 mins)

The Secession Sessions at Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco

February 7–21

The Anembassy installation will be open Wednesdays to Saturdays, 1 to 3 p.m. Conversations and public events take place Saturdays at 5.m. and Wednesdays at 6 p.m.

Screenings of Letters to Max take place Wednesdays through Fridays at 3 and 4:45 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m. Click here for the complete schedule.

Letters to Max
Eric Baudelaire (Abkhazia, 2014)

Shot in Abkhazia, where Baudelaire has been traveling intermittently since 2000, Letters to Max explores the fraught existence of a region caught between the polarizing, post-Soviet narratives of East and West. (103 mins)

The Kadist Foundation is located in San Francisco at 3295 20th Street, at Folsom Street.

Eric Baudelaire / MATRIX 257 is co-organized by Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator, and Joseph del Pesco, curator at Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco. The MATRIX Program is made possible by a generous endowment gift from Phyllis C. Wattis and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees.

The Secession Sessions is a coproduction of the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA); Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway; and Bétonsalon—Centre d’art et de recherche, Paris. Additional support is provided by Région Ile-de-France; Image / Mouvement, Centre national des arts plastiques; and Kadist Art Foundation, Paris and San Francisco. Special thanks to the UC Berkeley French Studies Program.