Edition of 100 + 10 APs
Silkscreen print on Somerset Satin Tub Sized 410gsm paper
Paper size: 30 3/8 x 22 3/8 in. (77.2 x 56.8 cm)
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This edition has been created to coincide with the exhibition The Crystal Land, a solo show at White Cube Bermondsey, 1 March – 13 April 2017.
In the exhibition, movie posters beckon the audience into a ‘glass cinema’, whose subtle, multi-coloured light emanating from glass-block windows, sets the tone for the film playing inside. The Light Club of Vizcaya: A Women’s Picture (2012) emerged out of McElheny’s interest in the work of Paul Scheerbart and is part of his effort to bring the German author’s writing into the 21st-century – a project that includes the publication of two scholarly books on Scheerbart as well as a series of sculptures, drawings and performances based on his ideas. In this film, McElheny develops Scheerbart’s short story The Light Club of Batavia: A Ladies' Novelette (1912), a fantastical tale about a group of socialites who meet at a hotel in Batavia (now known as Jakarta) and decide to build a spa at the bottom of an abandoned mineshaft so that they can ‘bathe’ in light. With a script written by Canadian poet Rachel Zolf and a voice-over narrated by the artist Zoe Leonard, McElheny presents a poetic, ‘speculative expansion’ of Scheerbart’s original text, re-staging it in a different locale to create a story-within-a-story that playfully deals with themes of gender, sexuality, society and nature. Presenting an alternative view of Modernism, as experienced by a female protagonist, the work deals with Scheerbart’s notion of universalist politics as a wholly other possible path of history. It proposes that Modernism might have been redirected from efficiency and restraint to expand the concept of the human.
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