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Archived exhibition

Boris Gerrets - 3 Films

Boris Gerrets - 3 Films

Exhibition: 14 April – 20 May, Mon – Sun 12 – 4.30pm

This exhibition featuring major works by the acclaimed Amsterdam-London based documentary filmmaker and artist Boris Gerrets embodies his desire “to bring to light life on the fringes”. The exhibition is centred on Gerrets’ multi-award winning film People I Could Have Been and Maybe Am (2010) which gathered outstanding critical acclaim worldwide, receiving IDFA Best Mid-Length Doc Award (Amsterdam), VISIONS DU RÉEL Best Direction Mid-Length Doc (Nyon), HOTDOCS Honorable Mention (Toronto), TIME OUT Best City Film Award (London) and many others.

Captured entirely on a mobile phone, the film evolves from two chance encounters on the streets of London. Starring Sandrine, an attractive Brazilian young woman on a mission to find a husband, Steve a seasoned beggar, struggling with drug addiction and Precious, a poet who became Steve's girlfriend, the film gives an unusually close view into their lives.

Gerrets’ films are close-ups of local environments, which he describes as ‘biotopic explorations.’ In the context of the present works, Gerrets understands space as predominantly geographical, political, social and psychological. To Gerrets, the camera is in various ways a gestural tool. How it travels through space determines the manner in which it constructs the space and the reality it captures. He is interested in the way a camera can generate social space. It is the nucleus around which interactions between protagonists and himself become possible. For Gerrets, without a camera, there would be no reason to be ‘there’, no passions to be shared or communicated. This is an elaboration of his performative approach to cinema, in which he creates situations that are at once both fictional and real.

The exhibition will also present Zero, a short film of a ‘captured’ landscape, and Invisible, a film produced during the artist’s two journeys to Iraq in 1995. Both films state questions of the limitations and scope of different artistic approaches and aesthetics, whether it be documentary, journalistic or poetic. But shadowing these two films are questions of legitimacy; the question of speaking on behalf of the other and the cogent question of whether a political reality would override the independence of artistic thought and practice.

Images of Boris Gerrets' exhibition 3 Films and the Boris Gerrets and Guy Brett In-Conversation Event:

Boris Gerrets is an internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker who lives and works between London and Amsterdam. He is also an accomplished visual artist and film-editor. Born into a Bulgarian-German family, he grew-up in the Netherlands, Spain, Sierra Leone and Germany.

Gerrets sees the camera as a tool that creates a social dynamic between him and his protagonists. The editing process is for Gerrets a way of stripping down and reconfiguring what has been garnered in reality, into a phenomenological space that speaks about the human condition. His role as filmmaker and the process of filmmaking is always at issue - either implicitly or explicitly - while he intentionally explores the gap between the factual event and its fictional and poetic meaning. Gerrets' cinematic approach contains a strong performative component and relies heavily on his multidisciplinary.

He is the recipient of a number of grants and has toured and shown his work internationally in museum and gallery exhibitions and video and film festivals. Gerrets’ most recent film, People I Could Have Been and Maybe Am (2010) has garnered critical acclaim worldwide, receiving IDFA Best Mid-Length Doc Award (Amsterdam), VISIONS DU RÉEL Best Direction Mid-Length Doc (Nyon), HOTDOCS Honorable Mention (Toronto), BELDOCS FIPRESCI Award (Belgrade), TIME OUT Best City Film Award (London), PÄRNU DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL Most Innovative Documentary and DOKUFEST Best Int’l Feature Documentary Award (Prizren, Kosovo), Golden Calf nomination NFF Utrecht.

Gerrets contributed a text to Issue 3 of &labels, our gallery periodical, which will be distributed free at the event.

In-Conversation Event: Saturday 19 May, 3 - 4.30pm

Guy Brett & Boris Gerrets

The exhibition will stage a unique In-conversation event featuring the artist and the internationally respected art critic and curator Guy Brett, who has curated numerous outstanding exhibitions at leading art venues including Tate Modern, The Hayward Gallery, and The Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid. The event will draw out a trajectory of Gerrets’ practice in the context of his multi-disciplinary background in arts.

Guy Brett is an internationally acclaimed art critic and curator. He worked as Art Critic for The Times from 1964-74, and was also a founding member of Signals Gallery, which held a series of exhibitions between 1964-66 showing the works of artists such as Jesus Raphael Soto, Sergio Camargo, Lygia Clarke and Hélio Oiticica. He later played a fundamental role in facilitating Oiticica's major London exhibition, "The Whitechapel Experiment", held at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1969.

He has curated a number of influential exhibitions including "Motion", an international show of kinetic art for the Arts Council of Great Britain (1966), "Li Yuan-chia: Tell Me What Is Not Yet Said" Camden Arts Centre, London (2001), "Mindfields: Boris Gerrets" Kiasma, Helsinki (2002), "Force Fields: Phases of the Kinetic" MACBA in Barcelona and Hayward Gallery in London (2001) and co-curated the Cildo Meireles retrospective at Tate Modern (2008-9).

He is the author of many books including "Kinetic Art, the Language of Movement" (1968), "Through Our Own Eyes: Popular Art and Modern History" (1987), "Transcontinental: Nine Latin American Artists" (1990), "Brasil Experimental: Arte/Vida Proposicoes e Paradoxos" , and has published numerous monographic essays on artists such as Lygia Clarke, Eugenio Dittborn, Victor Grippo, Mona Hatoum, Susan Hiller, David Medalla, Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape and Aubrey Williams.

His most recent publications include "Carnival of Perception: Selected Writings on Art" (inIVA, 2004) a collection of essays from 1976-2002, "Oiticica in London" co-edited with Luciano Figueiredo and released to coincide with the "Oiticica: the Body of Color" exhibition at Tate Modern (Tate, 2007) and “Cildo Meireles” (Tate, 2009).

Guy Brett is a Visiting Professor at Camberwell College of the Arts and currently working on an exhibition for the Pinacoteca in São Paulo, entitled The Enclosed Openness, which will take place later this year.

Free – All Welcome

Centrespace, Visual Research Centre is part of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and is located on the lower floors of Dundee Contemporary Arts, 152 Nethergate, Dundee.

Boris Gerrets, People I Could Have Been and Maybe Am, 2010

Boris Gerrets, still, Taxi Rain

Boris Gerrets, still, Taxi Rain

Boris Gerrets, still, Steve Precious

Boris Gerrets, still, Steve Precious

Boris Gerrets, still, Sandrine resto

Boris Gerrets, still, Sandrine