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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Friday opening: video installations at Wesleyan's Zilkha Gallery

Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University
238 Washington Ter., Middletown, (860) 685-3355
Julika Rudelius: Projections
Jan. 23—Feb. 28, 2010, 2009.
Opening reception: Fri., Jan. 22, 5—7 p.m., Artist talk at 5:30 p.m.

Press release

At Wesleyan University's Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, German artist Julika Rudelius will be represented in her third American solo exhibition by three video installations "Adrift," "Forever" and "Your Blood Is As Red As Mine." As with all Rudelius' work, these works starkly and powerfully explore private experience within the public sphere. In addition, by combining documentary and staged events the artist intentionally confuses and reinforces a sense of what is real and what is fiction.

Since the early 2000s, her work has addressed subjects ranging from adolescent boys discussing their sexual experiences to politicians introducing their interns to the world of domination and obedience in Washington, DC to businessmen talking about the significance of money.

Julika Rudelius: Projections runs Sat., Jan. 23 through Sun., Feb. 28, 2010. The public is invited to attend the opening reception on Fri., Jan. 22 from 5—7 p.m., with an artist talk at 5:30 p.m.

"Your Blood Is As Red As Mine" (2004, 15:56 min), the earliest work in the show was shot in Amsterdam and consists of a series of staged interviews and situations that focus on skin color and the representation of "the other." How does it feel to be black, dark-skinned, or white? What is light? And what does light do to a photo of a dark face? A white woman, the artist, spends some time in a black community, where she talks to people about the color of their skin, and about the photos that she makes of them.

For the synchronized video installation "Forever" (2006,16:40 min), Rudelius cast five American "women of a certain age" for their beauty. Each is posing at an upscale private swimming pool in the Hamptons. Each reflects on her notions of beauty - ways to obtain it and its relationship to privilege. Straddling a fine line, this work succeeds in both evoking and critiquing stereotypes at the same time.

For "Adrift" (2007, 4:50 min), a short single-channel projection, the artist assembled twenty people of varying age and background and seated them inside an anonymous waiting room, where they seem to drift between the waking world of bureaucracy and administration and a childlike state of dreams and vulnerability. The room bobs and sways, knocking the sleepers' heads from side to side. Amidst the gentle tumult of the room, the unconscious sleepers shift about as they try to remain comfortable despite the unusual movement.

Julika Rudelius was born in Cologne, Germany and now divides her time between New York and Amsterdam. After a career in publishing and photography, she studied at the Rijks Academy in Amsterdam where she discovered video. She was a resident in the International Studio and Curatorial Program, NY, 2006 and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Workspace program, 2008. Solo exhibitions include those at the Swiss Institute, NY; Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris; Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam; and the Westfalian Institute of Contemporary Art ,Germany. Her work has also been exhibited at the Tate Modern, Bard Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and MOCA North Miami.

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