The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in North America of work by Amsterdam based, artist-filmmaker Mark Boulos. Boulos was trained as a documentary filmmaker and is now working on gallery installations. The exhibition features a new, three-channel, video work, No Permanent Address (2010) and production stills, the two-channel, video work, All That is Solid Melts Into Air (2008) that was recently exhibited at the 6th Berlin Biennale, and the single-channel video work, The Word Was God (2007).
Boulos’ work revolves around his interest in revolutionary ardour and religious ecstasy. In the twenty minute, All That is Solid Melts Into Air, one screen portrays the Nigerian rebel group MEND who are trying to sabotage the oil industry in the Niger Delta. Boulos reveals the Marxist politics of group members and their adherence to the war god Egbisu who they believe, gives them invulnerability to bullets. The sequence climaxes in a war dance. On the other screen are scenes from the Chicago Stock Exchange (where oil is traded) on the day of the Bear Stearns collapse. The frenzied traders and gesticulating warriors echo and face each other. This work was shown at the 2008 Sidney Biennale and at the 2010 Berlin Biennale. All That is Solid Melts Into Air has never been shown in North America.
The first presentation of No Permanent Address is at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. The work is for three screens and consists of portraits and vignettes from life with members of the New People’s Army, a Maoist guerrilla group in the Philippines who have recently allowed same-sex marriages among the cadres. Boulos talks to various members of the group and witnesses their daily life. The piece climaxes with a tense preparation for a possible encounter with the Philippine Army (which does not, in the end, occur).
In a geo-political world where more and more struggles for sovereignty are labeled “terrorist”, Boulos gives a non-journalistic, diaristic and very human portrait of people who have turned to militancy.
Mark Boulos is an artist-filmmaker living and working in Amsterdam. During 2010, his work has been exhibited at the 6th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, in the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, and in a solo exhibition at AR/GE Kunst Galerie Museum in Bolzano. In 2008, Boulos participated in the Biennale of Sydney and had his first solo show at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. His work has also been shown at the 2nd Biennale of Thessaloniki, the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, the Swiss Art Awards, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Bloomberg Space, the Hayward Gallery, the Barbican Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Art, London.
Boulos is the recipient of awards from the Netherlands Film Fonds, the Fonds BKVB, Film London, the British Documentary Film Foundation and the Arts Council England. Born in Boston, USA in 1975, Boulos received his BA in Philosophy from Swarthmore College and Deep Springs College (USA), his MA from the National Film and Television School (England), and held a Fulbright Scholarship at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam.
This exhibition has been made possible with funding from The Canada Council for the Arts, the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands Film Fund, and the generous support of our Belkin Curator’s Forum members.
Paul Greisman at 4:34 pm Sunday, December 5, 2010
Very incisive and well focussed. Accurate impressions of the so called developing world. Many thanks.
Tree from Here... at 12:28 pm Saturday, December 4, 2010
Gotta love the stock market It's interesting how human beings are so much like the other animals yet so different
J.E.Llewellyn-Jones (England) at 3:02 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I'm sorry to say but I do not consider Mark Boulas's work art.
Milly at 2:51 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Honestly I'm not surprised by the backlash against Boulos' works that claim that he is spreading propaganda that promotes sympathy for outlaws. People are too often unflexible in their thinking - they see everything as a dichotomy: right or wrong, black and white. Have they ever stopped to consider that, maybe he was just trying to give you a different view of something that you, living as an individual in your comfortable, sheltered life in an affluent society, can't possibly have very much understanding for? Through the interviews of the militia members I saw a realness, in their discussions of their personal lives, society, and how those conflict with their choices. I saw nothing preachy, nothing that says, "Take our side". These are just people with deep beliefs in something expressing their versions of the truth. If everyone actually stopped to consider vantage points before jumping to a conclusion/judgment about its validity, maybe we wouldn't have people resorting to violence, as a way of getting their voices heard.
lee at 12:25 pm Thursday, November 4, 2010
Michelle from UBC from Canada at 3:37 pm Wednesday, November 3, 2010
A good anthropolgical/sociology lesson. What happens when colonization occurs? Who does it affect and how long do the repurcussions last? Interesting from another perspective; I keep hearing in the news about all of the funding that is being given to guerilla warfare. The film on the 3 screens revealed that there are many hardships and not much money to be had. I apprecaited the lesson on the suffering and hardships faced by those who join the guerilla factions but the repurcussion upon their families. The first video installation with one screen showing whites as greedy and caring so much about money contrasted with the guerilla faction in Nigeria explaining that whites made them that way; they have to kill to keep the m oney in their land. Really made me think. Thank you Mark Boulos for the insightful exhibit/installation.
jim macguigan from ubc at 2:45 pm Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Rebecca Love from UBC at 11:41 am Wednesday, November 3, 2010
This video installation put me to tears. its brillant. it brings much sadness, but shows the complex interconnections we have to one another, putting a human face to peoples lives- braiding our realities of cultures, continents, economies, greed and lack of compassion & understanding for one another.
son tran at 11:21 am Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Commrade Fougere from Vancouver at 1:09 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Videos and presentation were awesome!
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