The Insolent Eye: Jarry in Art

Apr 1 - May 13, 2011

Locks Gallery presents an immersive exhibition in homage to French author Alfred Jarry (1873-1907), on view April 1 through May 13, 2011. Contemporary artists Thomas Chimes, Rebecca Horn, and William Kentridge recreate the beguiling atmosphere of Jarry’s absurdist scenarios, with an historical prologue of artworks by Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso, and Man Ray. The exhibition will include film, painting, installation, sculpture, and photography. There will be an opening reception on Friday, April 1st from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with an essay by Marie-Claire Groeninck.

Jarry believed in the use of masks onstage to convey “a character’s eternal quality”. His creation Ubu Roi would indeed achieve posterity in the visual arts. In the exhibition, William Kentridge’s animated film Ubu Tells the Truth will be projected next to Pablo Picasso’s print strips, The Dream and Lie of Franco. Both pieces inherit from the ignominious monarch who they place respectively in the aftermath of the South African Apartheid and at the time of the Spanish Civil War.

Isolated in a dark room, Rebecca Horn’s mechanical installation Cinéma Vérité fuses its aqueous and light movements to draw a theater of shadows on the wall. Her paintings on paper, scaled to the extent of her body gesture, further explore her reflection on the mechanical and the sensual, and science and alchemy, which also fueled Jarry’s thinking one century ago.

Deeply informed with Jarry’s writings and code of conduct, Thomas Chimes’s successive portraits of Jarry and his imaginary double, Doctor Faustroll, end up in some of his most mysterious and almost monochromatic white paintings. To Chimes, these shades of white constitute a “universe, supplementary to this one” – in other words, the subject-study of Jarry’s Pataphysics, the “science of imaginary solutions”.

The Insolent Eye: Jarry in Art, is organized in conjunction with PIFA (Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts), April 7 - May 1, 2011. For more information, visit their website at: www.pifa.org.

Click here to download a PDF press release.