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April 8, 2011 to May 11, 2011

J’entends les trains depuis toujours / I keep hearing the trains for ever: A video installation by Tania Mouraud

J'entends les trains depuis toujours / I keep hearing the trains for ever, is a three-part video exhibition by French artist Tania Mouraud. The project, curated by Marie-Claire Groeninck and Jean-Michel Rabaté, was presented by the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA). The three exhibitions were presented by the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Slought Foundation and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

Since the beginning of the 1970s, Tania Mouraud has created an oeuvre which encompasses spatial installations, performances, wall paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and films. The essence of her creations stems from the instinctive and precise sense of perception she uses to compose each piece and each time propose a statement to the viewer. Tania Mouraud's work is emotionally invasive and committed. As Catherine Grenier, associate director of the Centre Pompidou has suggested, "she addresses sight and mind, as well as body, which is the primary agency of her art. In all the artist's works, the viewer's receptivity and subjectivity are taken to task, with the work being simultaneously in the aesthetic, intellectual and emotional register and range." (People call me Tania Mouraud, 2010)

The exhibition J'entends les trains depuis toujours concentrated on Tania Mouraud's videos and video installations, a medium that she has tackled for the last decade. These pieces further address the sensory concerns she began to explore in the earlier stages of her career. The choreography of the moving images and the sound composition pit their strength against the walls. The viewer’s perception is dissected into the volume of the exhibition space, as the borderline between figuration and abstraction is at stake.

At the Philadelphia Art Alliance, a selection of video installations explored the early video works of Tania Mouraud. From the very beginning, this medium was a way for her to introduce movement and a sense of narration in her art. It also, paradoxically enough, references the history of painting. Although she films real life without alteration, the framing, composition, and the editing of the moving image often tends toward abstraction. In La Curée (The Quarry, 2003-04), an installation of multiple monitors dispersed on the floor, the reds, ochers, and browns melt violently in a chiaroscuro that blurs one’s vision. To Mouruad, it becomes a way to express the idea of madness, the madness of humankind, The same can be seen in Le Verger (The Orchard, 2003), which juxtaposes the serene footage of a blossoming Orchard to television footage of the bombings during the Iraq War. Oppositely is the exploration of silence in 5892's (2001) clapping hands and the calm beauty of a koi pond in Invitation (2001).

The artist performed live during a one night only event on Friday, April 8 at 7:00 pm at the Philadelphia Art Alliance.

Tags: film, installation