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Framed: Drawings In Motion

The Drawing Center (in New York) in collaboration with Smart Spaces, the not-for-profit art space that uses vacant store fronts as their roaming venue, is presenting a show of animated shorts called Framed: Drawings In Motion.

The Drawing Center (NY) in collaboration with Smart Spaces, the not-for-profit art space that uses vacant store fronts as their roaming venue, is presenting a show of animated short films called Framed: Drawings In Motion.

Co-curated by Joanna Kleinberg and Rachel Liebowitz, both Assistant Curators at the Drawing Center, this is the Drawing Center's second time presenting a show dedicated to animation as an art form. (The previous exhibition was Analog Animation in 2006.)

A still from the short film Travel Stained by Susi Jirkuff

I interviewed the two co-curators...

sk: Joanna and Rachel, tell me some of the back story of this show, how the idea for the exhibition originated.

jk: We were approached by Smart Spaces to conceive of a film program that could occupy and enliven a vacant storefront in Soho. Because we work mostly with drawing, we thought it would be really interesting to look at a set of contemporary artists who are using the medium of drawing via animation. Our film program consists of a group of international, mid-career and emerging artists who make hand-drawn animated films through a variety of approaches and techniques. We were particularly interested in showing films with a whimsical bent that present imaginative narratives alongside the attending visuals. In all the films, these artists explore the relationship between our surroundings, human culture, and identity, ranging from quick gestures to more elaborate compositions. 

sk: Tell me a little about the focus of the works you're highlighting in the show. Would you classify them more as experimental animation, or do they follow a more classical pattern of animation narrative that one would find in a theatre setting or at a film festival for example?

rl: It’s a combination of both. The works that we selected range from quick gestures to more elaborate, fully developed narratives. We wanted to give the viewer a wide range of the different approaches in contemporary animation and the various possibilities within the medium. That said, none of the films are traditional in format or duration, yet they all contain a semblance of a fictive narrative.

sk: And as regards the drawn line, when you selected the works, what of the line interested you? Is the texture of the marks important for example? 

jk: The mark-making gestures themselves are the most intriguing aspect. Some of the artists use collage, others a more refined, simplified graphite line, there’s even the incorporation of illustration and graphic design, like with Raymond Pettibon, who directly references pop culture and pulp fiction.

A still from the short film The Dancer by Tala Madani. Courtesy of the artist and Lombard Freid Projects, New York.

The show runs November 24 through December 24, 2010 in the window front of 200 Lafayette Street (NY) and features the works listed below.  

If you can't make it in person, some of the films are available on the web. I've included current URLs below but not all the artists have their films online. If you find a URL that I haven't noted, please send it in a comment.

A still from the short film Hadacol Christmas by Brent Green

Brent Green, Hadacol Christmas, 2010

Hand-drawn animated film, 11 min 12 sec, USA

Susi Jirkuff, Travel Stained, 2008

Hand-drawn music video, 4 min, Austria

Kakyoung Lee, Walk, 2009

Moving image, Conté and graphite on paper, 3 min, USA

Tala Madani, The Dancer, 2010

single channel color video (stop motion animation), 1 min 30 sec, USA and The Netherlands (look for the video clip)

Raymond Pettibon, Repeater Pencil, 2004

Singular screen animation with sound, 14 min 12 sec, USA