A catalogue page at random
Browse the Rencontres Internationales catalogue, or search the archives of the works presented since 2004. New video clips are routinely posted and the images and text are regularly updated.
Jon rafman
Poor Magic
Experimental film | hdv | color | 7'7'' | Canada | 2017
Jon Rafman’s Poor Magic is a vision of a post-human dystopia featuring animated 3-D bodies continuously tortured in abstract digital space. The video presents the viewer with a haunting programme of repeating motifs: a blue featureless avatar, a view from a colonoscopy, and ranks of identical figures crashing and toppling over each other, made with the help of crowd-simulation software. While a poetic lament, Poor Magic addresses the fragmented consciousness of a post-physical existence. The film shows a terrifying image of a future where all humanity is uploaded to a virtual purgatory and endlessly abused. Or perhaps it is also a brutal representation of the present moment and the effect that technology has on our flesh and psyche.
Rafman was born in 1981 in Canada. He works and lives in Montreal. Artist, filmmaker and essayist, he holds an M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a B.A. in Philosophy and Literature from Mcgill University. His work centers around the emotional, social and existential impact of technology on contemporary life. He is widely known for exhibiting found images from Google Street View in his online artwork “9-Eyes”. Much of his work focuses on melancholy in modern social interactions, communities and virtual realities. His videos utilize personal moments to reveal how pop culture ephemera and subcultures shape individual desires, defining those individuals. The artist’s recent solo exhibitions include Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2016); Westfälischer Kunstverein, Munster (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal (2015); the Zabludowicz Collection, London (2015), and the Centre for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. His work has also been featured in numerous international group exhibitions, including Berlin Biennial 9 and Manifesta 11 in 2016, The Future of Memory, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2015), Speculations on Anonymous Materials, Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany (2015), and the Lyon and Moscow Biennial in 2015. He was also presented at Saatchi Gallery in London and at Palais de Tokyo in 2012. The artist was rewarded for excellence in the visual arts at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2015, and has been nominated for the Tiger Award for short Film, the Mainsqueeze and the Sobey Art Award.