Eve Sussman and Rufus Corporation: Yuri’s Office

Eve Sussman and Rufus Corporation - Yuri's Office

Eve Sussman and the Rufus Corporation draw from film, theater, dance and visual art to create beautifully nuanced interdisciplinary experiences. Their work – which references everything from Spanish painting to Greek modernist architecture and French new wave film – has been shown at galleries and museums around the world. This partnership between SMU, TCU and The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth brings together two exhibitions, a lecture and a screening of a brand new work in progress.

Their 2004 installation 89 seconds at Alcázar takes the moment frozen by Velasquez in his painting Las Maninas and extends it in time, imagining the moments before the famously pictured image through the use of video and performance. In this sense it reifies an abstract image taken out of time, placing it back into the continuum of lived experience. Similarly, Yuri’s Office was based on an image – a photograph taken from the museological preservation of Yuri Gregarin’s office. Sussman used her photograph of the original office to construct a Trompe-l’œil detailed recreation.

This chain of images is also evident in whiteonwhite:algorithmicthriller, which uses a specially created software program to link over 2,000 video clips to create a potentially infinite and unending film. This neo-noir thriller includes scenes shot in post-Soviet Central Asia and, along with Yuri’s office, is part of an ongoing project of research toward a film that explores the relationships between the failed utopias of The Russian Avant Guarde, the Space Race and Communism.

Taken together, this work engages history by peeling back its layers. But Sussman and the Rufus Corporation also linger on the elegant oblique poetry that can be found in each moment when they are taken out of their expected context.

SMU: Meadows Museum
“Spanish Muse: A Contemporary Response,” including “89 Seconds to Alcazar”
September 12, 2010 – Dec. 12, 2010
Curated by Bridget Marx

In conjunction with the exhibition Eve Sussman will give a lecture at the Meadows Museum on September 15 at 6:00pm.

To commemorate the forty-fifth anniversary of the Meadows Museum as a premier collection of Spanish art, this exhibition showcases contemporary works of art whose creators have been inspired by art produced—or collected—in Spain, and featured in some of that country’s great public collections.  These contemporary works will be installed alongside the permanent collection at the Meadows as a way to create a dialogue between art of the past and present.  Featured in this exhibition are contemporary works by José Manuel Ballester, Claudio Bravo, Jake and Dinos Chapman, John Currin, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Thomas Struth, Eve Sussman and the Rufus Corporation, and Manolo Valdés.

Velázquez’s iconic Las Meninas is the point of departure for the works of Eve Sussman and the Rufus Corporation.  The snapshot-like, proto-photographic quality of Las Meninas and the psychological charge of the scene prompted Sussman to create the installation 89 seconds at Alcázar (2004).  The set design and costumes of the piece were created faithfully to the time period, while the choreography by Rufus collaborator Claudia de Serpa Soares provided the opportunity to imagine Velázquez’s scene through gesture. The performance that unfolds on screen explores the narrative intrigue of the painting and further implies psychological nuance.  89 seconds at Alcázar was shot as a single, uncut choreographic work.  With minimal edits that escape perception, the fluid motion of the 10-minute piece is built of moments that come together and then fall apart again.

TCU: Fort Worth Contemporary Arts
Yuri’s Office
September 10 – October 31, 2010
Opening September 18, 7-9pm
Curated by Christina Rees and Noah Simblist

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Screening of whiteonwhite:algorithmicthriller w/ Q&A to follow
September 14, 2010, 7pm

Eve Sussman is an artist whose work incorporates film, video, installation, sculpture and photography. In 2003 she began working under the rubric, Rufus Corporation. Rufus has evolved into a ‘think tank’ of performers, artists, musicians, writers and programmers who have collaborated on films and art works. Under the direction of Sussman, the company has created 89 seconds at Alcázar, The Rape of the Sabine Women, Yuri’s Office and whiteonwhite:algorithmicthriller, an experimental film noir (currently in progress).

Eve Sussman/RufusCorporation’s projects have been supported by Haupstadtkulturfonds, Berlin; Creative Capital; New York State Council on the Arts; The Trust for Mutual Understanding and The Guggenheim Foundation among others.  Her work has shown internationally, including exhibitions at The Reina Sofia in Madrid, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, The Louisiana Museum in Denmark and The National Gallery in London.

These events were co-sponsored by TCU’s Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, SMU’s Meadows Museum and Division of Art and the Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth. Special thanks to Sally Warren and Jeff Jackson as well as Patrick and Lindsey Collins for their generous support to help make these events possible. This collaboration was organized by Noah Simblist with Christina Rees, Bridget Marx, Carmen Smith and Terri Thornton. The extraordinary professionalism and generosity of spirit demonstrated by Eve Sussman and Catherine Mahoney is gratefully acknowledged.

Ft Worth Contemporary Arts
The Art Galleries at TCU
2900 W Berry St
Fort Worth, TX 76129

The Meadows Museum
5900 Bishop Blvd.
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX 75205-0357

The Modern Art Museum Ft Worth
3200 Darnell Street
Fort Worth, TX 76107