Neïl Beloufa’s solo exhibition As Far As We Know features two new moving image works, commissioned and produced by the Western Front over a month long residency in the summer. The video works are embedded within an installation constructed from readily available building materials. Beloufa’s installations intentionally create a sculptural fragmentation of the gallery space in order to provide several discrete environments for projection.
In The Analyst, the researcher, the screen writer, the cgi tech and the Lawyer, Beloufa choreographed a series of street actions, which could be read as ambiguous every-day occurrences, slapstick moments of comedy or illicit activities. Following the video shoot, a cast of collaborators, with specific professional roles, were asked to respond to the footage and give meaning to the image. The narrating voices give several conflicting possibilities and interpretations of the scene. This juxtaposition permits us to free-fall through understanding, in a world without a horizon.
People’s passion, lifestyle, beautiful wine, gigantic glass towers, all surrounded by water appears as an energetic but bittersweet promotional video for the lifestyle of an urban middle class. Through a progression of spontaneous and enacted interviews that are infused with fizzy optimism and rampant boosterism, Beloufa investigates the endless discourse of positivity that blankets a generation of young adults. In the framework of a neo-liberal economy’s ideal built-environment, Beloufa overtly outlines its inhabitants attitudes and opinions, to show how compliance and obedience are part of the whole package of their glistening contemporary urban lifestyle.
Several sculptures and image works complement the videos throughout the exhibition. In Beloufa’s exhibitions, these pieces mimic and respond to his own playful sense of composition and frenetic assemblage in the moving image works. There is a hazy migration of characters, figures, and volumes throughout As Far As We Know. Beloufa smears these through a maze of obscure connections and the result is an artist’s study on how information is performed for and transformed by contemporary image producing technologies.
An artist talk and screening of prior works by Beloufa will take place at the Western Front, Tuesday, September 27 at 7pm.
Neil Beloufa is an artist who lives and works in Paris, France. His work has previously been exhibited at The New Museum, (New York), Manfiesta 8 (Murcia, ES), Chung-King Projects (Los Angeles), White Box (New York) and the Palais de Tokyo (Paris). He’s represented by Francois Ghebaly Gallery (Los Angeles) and Balice Hertling (Paris). His film Sans Titre (2010) recently won the Grand Prize at the Oberhausen Film Festival in 2011 and in 2011 and it will be included in the Wavelengths programme at the Toronto International Film Festival 2011.