Javier Téllez Exhibition at FWCA Nov. 7

Telllez_Caligari_stills05Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, TCU, 2900 Berry St, Fort Worth, TX  76109, 817-257-2588, theartgalleries@tcu.edu
Javier Téllez
November 7 – December 20, 2014
Opening reception Friday November 7th, 6-8pm
Caligari und der Schalfwandler (Caligari and the Sleepwalker), 2008
daily screening November 7 – 22
O Rinoceronte de Dürer (Dürer’s Rhinoceros), 2010
daily screening December 3 – 20
Still: Caligari und der Schalfwandler 
Video installation artist Javier Téllez makes films in collaboration with psychiatric patients and people with disabilities. Combining elements of fiction and documentary, Téllez and his collaborators rewrite familiar stories or make their own, to the point where patients participate as actors in the films. Through performances developed through role playing and improvisation, the artist and actors draw attention to questions about what is normal as well as investigating social prejudices and stereotypes.
Fort Worth Contemporary Arts will present two of the artist’s films – – Caligari und der Schlafwandler, 2008 and O Rinoceronte de Dürer, 2010 – – neither of which have been shown in Texas before.
Made in Berlin and Potsdam, Caligari und der Schlafwandler (2008, b/w, 27 minutes) references the famous German expressionist silent film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” 1919, which was the first film in history about a psychiatric institution. Unlike the original film, Téllez’s response does not involve a murderous crime as a plot driver, but rather his Dr. Caligari is a hypnotist who communicates with Cesare, a sleepwalker from another planet. Themes that resonate throughout the film include identity and otherness, as well as the subjective perception of space.
Similar concerns are addressed in O Rinoceronte de Dürer (2010, HD colour, 41 minutes), made on location in a panoptic structure in the grounds of the Miguel Bombarda Hospital in Lisbon, Portugal. Built in 1896, the panoptic was designed as a prison for the criminally insane, according to ideas proposed by Jeremy Bentham, an 18th century philosopher and social reformer. It once housed 300 patients and was used as a prison until 2000. Téllez introduces us to characters portrayed by psychiatric patients who have imagined the lives of past inhabitants and reconstructed some of their daily activities.
The title of the film references an etching of a rhinoceros by German renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. The animal was given as a gift to the King of Portugal in 1515, but later perished in a shipwreck en route to Italy. Dürer never saw the infamous rhino, but rather had to imagine its form and draw it based on written descriptions.
Javier Téllez was born in Valencia, Venezuela in 1969. He lives and works in New York. His work has been shown internationally in venues such as MoMA PS1, New York; ZKM, Karlsruhe; KW, Berlin; Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon; The Power Plant, Toronto; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, and SMAK, Museum for Contemporary Art, Ghent. He has participated in major contemporary art festivals such as dOCUMENTA (13) (2012), Lyon Biennale (2011), Whitney Biennale (2008), Manifesta (2008), Sydney Biennale (2008 and 2004), Yokohama Triennale (2001) and Venice Biennale (2003 and 2001). Javier Téllez is a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial fellow (1999) and was a guest of the DAAD Artist programme in Berlin from 2010 to 2011.
Fort Worth Contemporary Arts would like to thank Melisa Rangel at Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, for her assistance in presenting Javier Téllez’s films at TCU.
Alongside the presentation of the films, Fort Worth Contemporary Arts will host panel discussions featuring artists, art educators, art therapists, nursing faculty and mental health professionals. These discursive events are presented with the desire to encourage dialogue about disability and contemporary art, and therapeutic practice in Fort Worth:
Breaking down barriers: Disability and Contemporary Art
Thursday, November 13, 7-9pm
Moderated by Sara-Jayne Parsons, Curator of the Art Galleries at TCU
With guest speakers
Stephen Lapthisophon, artist & educator
Amanda Allison, Professor of Art Education, TCU
Charles Walker, Professor of Nursing, TCU
There’s No Place Like Home: Therapeutic, Empowering Art Practice in Fort Worth
Thursday, December 4, 7-9pm
With guest speakers
Amanda Allison, Professor of Art Education, TCU
Alex Sharp, B.F.A. candidate in Art Education, TCU
Jane Avila, ATR-BC, and Founder of the Art Station, Fort Worth
Panel discussions are free and open to the public.
Fort Worth Contemporary Arts is located at 2900 Berry St. on the edge of the TCU Campus, Fort Worth, TX 76109. Gallery Hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 12 – 5 pm, and by appointment. Admission is free.
For more information about this exhibition, images for press, or details about other activities of the Art Galleries at TCU, please contact Sara-Jayne Parsons, Curator, s.j.parsons@tcu.edu, 817-257-2707, or Devon Nowlin, Gallery Manager, devon.nowlin@tcu.edu, 817-257-2588.


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