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Media Contact: Peter Cavagnaro, pcavagnaro@berkeley.edu, (510) 642-0365

Eric Baudelaire / MATRIX 257 (February 4–21, 2015)

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Eric Baudelaire: Letters to Max (Abkhazia, 2014)

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Berkeley, CA, January 15, 2015 — The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) and Kadist Art Foundation present MATRIX 257, featuring the work of French-American artist Eric Baudelaire, who lives and works in Paris. Baudelaire’s work explores intricate facets of representation through a keen unraveling of entangled narratives. The first of a series of off-site projects presented by BAM/PFA while it prepares to move to its new building, opening in early 2016, the exhibition unfolds in two parts: a pair of film screenings at the PFA Theater on February 4 and 5 and the presentation of The Secession Sessions at Kadist Art Foundation in San Francisco from February 7 to 21.

In his films 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 Georgians, the breakaway State is a rogue nationalist regime, an amputated part of Georgia. To the Abkhaz, independence saved them from cultural extinction after years of Stalinist repression and Georgian domination. The Secession Sessions does not seek to write an impossible objective historiography. The project starts with this observation: Abkhazia has had a territorial and human existence for twenty years, and yet it will in all likelihood remain in limbo for the foreseeable future, which makes the self-construction of its narrative something worth exploring.” Consisting of a new film, Letters to Max (2014); a performative “Anembassy” of Abkhazia open to the public and 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 questions of statehood and representation through the prism of the stateless state of Abkhazia. Curator Apsara DiQuinzio states that through the project, “Baudelaire establishes an open space for discourse and contemplation, while acknowledging both sides of the politically fraught situation.”

SCREENINGS AT THE PFA THEATER (FEBRUARY 4 & 5)

Wednesday, February 4; 7 p.m.
The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images
Eric Baudelaire (France/Japan/Lebanon, 2011)

Introduction by Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator; Eric Baudelaire and Joseph del Pesco, curator at Kadist Art Foundation, in Conversation

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.

Written and photographed by Baudelaire. Narrated by Masao Adachi and May Shigenobu (66 mins, In English and Japanese with English subtitles, Color/B&W, DCP, From LUX)

Preceded by:
The Makes
Eric Baudelaire (France, 2009)

An adaptation of Michelangelo Antonioni’s notes on unmade films published in That Bowling Alley on the Tiber, starring French film critic Philippe Azoury in the role of “The Critic.”

(26 mins, In French with English subtitles, Color, DCP, From LUX)

Total running time: 92 mins.

Thursday February 5; 7 p.m.
The Ugly One
Eric Baudelaire (France/Lebanon/Japan, 2013)

Introduction by Joseph del Pesco; Eric Baudelaire and Apsara DiQuinzio in Conversation

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

Written by Baudelaire, Masao Adachi, and Laure Vermeersch. Photographed by Claire Mathon. With Rabih Mroué, Juliette Navis, and Manal Khader. Narrated by Masao Adachi. (101 mins, In French, Arabic, Japanese, English with French and English subtitles, Color, DCP, From LUX)

PFA Tickets: $9.50 general admission; $5.50 BAM/PFA members and UC Berkeley students; $6.60 UC Berkeley staff and faculty, non-UC Berkeley students, seniors (65+), disabled persons, and youth (12 and under)


THE SECESSION SESSIONS AT KADIST ART FOUNDATION, SAN FRANCISCO (FEBRUARY 7–21)
A Project by Eric Baudelaire with Maxim Gvinja

Wednesdays to Saturdays, 1 to 3 p.m.
The Abkhazian Anembassy
With Maxim Gvinjia, former Foreign Minister and Anambassador of the Abkhazian Republic in San Francisco
Admission is free

Maxim Gvinjia, the Anambassador, will hold regular office hours at Kadist Art Foundation. He will make use of the space as he pleases. He may host events, greet visitors, hold discussions, and invite guests. The Anembassy is a performance (can it be called anything else?); it is not official and it has no function in an operational sense. It will operate as a ritual that is both real (after all, Max was Foreign Minister) and a fiction, but a fiction meant in a very political sense: fiction as a territory of resistance for those who are given no space in the real.

Wednesdays through Fridays at 3 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m.
Letters to Max
Eric Baudelaire with Maxim Gvinjia (Abkhazia, 2014)
Admission is free

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.

Written, photographed by Baudelaire, with Max Gvinjia. (103 mins, In English and Russian with English subtitles, Color, HD video, From LUX)

The San Francisco Sessions
A program of talks, public events, and workshops with scholars and artists
Admission is free

Saturday, February 7; 5 p.m.
Session 1: The Anembassy Is Open
With Karen Fiss, Maxim Gvinjia, Eric Baudelaire, Apsara DiQuinzio, Joseph del Pesco

Wednesday, February 11; 6 p.m.
Session 2: Secession Made in the USA
With members of Cascadia independence movement and Joshua Clover

Saturday, February 14; 5 p.m.
Session 3: Performance As Politics and Vice Versa
With Julia Bryan-Wilson, David Buuck, Aaron Gach

Wednesday, February 18; 6 p.m.
Session 4: Georgian Voices
With Harsha Ram and guests

Saturday, February 21; 5 p.m.
Session 5: Present Future of Emancipation
With Martin Jay and Tarek Elhaik

For complete descriptions of sessions go to http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/events/education

Support
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.

Artist Bio
Eric Baudelaire is a French visual artist and filmmaker. His films The Ugly One (2013) and The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi, and 27 Years Without Images (2011) were selected at the FIDMarseille, Locarno, Toronto, New York, and Rotterdam film festivals. His research-based practice also includes printmaking, photography, and publications which have been shown in solo exhibitions at the Fridericianum in Kassel, Bétonsalon in Paris, the Bergen Kunsthall, the Beirut Art Center, Gasworks in London, La Synagogue de Delme in France, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. He has participated in the Mediacity Seoul Biennale and Yokohama Triennial in 2014, the Taipei Biennial, Berlin Documentary Forum 2, and La Triennale in Paris. His work is included in the collections of MACBA in Barcelona, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and The Whitney Museum of American Art.

About MATRIX
The MATRIX Program for Contemporary Art introduces the Bay Area community to exceptional work being made internationally, nationally, and locally, creating a rich connection to the current dialogues on contemporary art and demonstrating that the art of this moment is vital, dynamic, and often challenging. Confronting traditional practices of display and encouraging new, open modes of analysis, MATRIX provides an experimental framework for an active interchange between the artist, the museum, and the viewer. Since the program's inception in 1978, MATRIX has featured artists such as John Baldessari, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, Sophie Calle, Nan Goldin, Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, Shirin Neshat, Nancy Spero, and Andy Warhol, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Peter Doig, Omer Fast, Tobias Rehberger, Ernesto Neto, Rosalind Nashashibi, Tomás Saraceno, Mario Garcia Torres, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, representing countries as diverse as Finland, Germany, Iran, Ivory Coast, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Thailand, and Brazil.

About BAM/PFA
Internationally recognized for its art and film programming, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is a platform for cultural experiences that transform individuals, engage communities, and advance the local, national, and global discourse on art and ideas. Founded in 1963, BAM/PFAis UC Berkeley’s primary visual arts venue with its screenings of some 400 films and presentations of up to 20 exhibitions annually. BAM/PFA’s mission is “to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film.”

The institution’s collection of over 19,000 works of art dates from 3000 BC to the present day and includes important holdings of Neolithic Chinese ceramics, Ming and Qing Dynasty Chinese painting, Old Master works on paper, Italian Baroque painting, early American painting, Abstract Expressionist painting, contemporary photography, and video art. Its film archive contains over 17,500 films and videos, including the largest collection of Japanese cinema outside of Japan, Hollywood classics, and silent film, as well hundreds of thousands of articles, reviews, posters, and other ephemera related to the history of film—many of which are digitally scanned and accessible online.

PFA Theater: 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley; bampfa.berkeley.edu
Kadist Art Foundation: 3295 20th Street, San Francisco; www.kadist.org

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