Shooting The Road

Ivor Shearer

In Residence: Sep 17 – Nov 18, 2013

Exhibition: Nov 14, 2013 – Jan 12, 2014

What was the inspiration for this exhibition?

I became interested in the film The Road, which made use of sites of disaster for set design, because without human suffering this film could not have been made within the production model that they employed. They studied the war in Kosovo for one scene, homeless peoples’ attire for wardrobe, and they shot in the wreckage of post-Katrina New Orleans and post-industrial Pittsburgh for their dystopic fantasy film. For me it was interesting that the sites that they chose to shoot inadvertently mapped out how global capitalism operates.

How does the film you made relate to the original film The Road?

I wanted to engage with these politically-charged sites that they shot. If their film made use of the sites to further their story I wanted to reverse this and use their story to further an examination of the sites. I felt I had to enter into the way they made their film, but with a very different orientation. I saw the film I would make as an experiment and by mimicking their shots I had let go of creative control. Once I had the basic concept and parameters, the film made itself. I was not trying to match the content of the film, but rather the geography so that my camera was placed where The Road had placed theirs.

What is the relationship of the sculpture to the film you created?

The sculpture is of the basic structure of a section of a once Katrina-flooded, now abandoned movie theatre at the heart of a major corruption scandal located in New Orleans East. The sculpture is not meant to be seen as supplementary to the film, but rather an entity in its own right. Much like all the other sites in the film its identity is continually recontextualized. It is caught between history, memorial, controversy, and an image (both in The Road and then again in Shooting The Road).

Much like with the film, I wanted to explore the site to engage with it and open up questions around the larger implications of what this liminal space might reveal. Similar to my filmmaking (employing Brechtian techniques of distanciation) the structure does not attempt to provide the viewer with resolution or gratification in an escapist manner but rather critically explore the conflicted meaning of the site.

What was the process for creating the sculpture?

Once again, it is about re-contextualizing. I followed similar parameters as I did with the film, constructing the theater by using pretty exact measurements. And within this replica I incorporated some subtle components of the authentic (artifacts from the theatre), including the screen, a few tiles, and one broken sheet of plexiglass. The impetus behind this was to further question and challenge the conflicted identity of the site, while simultaneously furthering the potential meaning that could be drawn from the site.


Ivor Shearer

Houston, Texas, USA

Having lived in New Orleans before and after catastrophic Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city in 2005, much of Ivor Shearer’s film and video work deals with displacement and the socio-political after-effects of the storm. A graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2011, he holds a MFA from Columbia University and is recipient of a 2011 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation artist grant. Now based in Houston, his work has been exhibited extensively, including Rewrite/Redraw/Retool (2011), Vita Kuben at Norslands Operan in Umea, Sweden;Below Sea Level (2010) at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; A Camel Is a Horse Designed by a Committee (2009) at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice; Lost in Your Eyes (2008) at the Nieman Gallery, New York; and Artists Respond to Hurricane Katrina(2007) at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University.

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Paola Morsiani

Purchase, NY

Paola Morsiani assumed her current position as Director of the Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College in July 2012. Between 2008 and 2012, she held the position of Curator of Contemporary Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art. She previously held the position of Senior Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston from 1999 to 2008, where she curated exhibitions that include Andrea Zittel: Critical Space and Subject Plural: Crowds in Contemporary Art, as well as Wishing for Synchronicity: Works by Pipilotti Rist. In 2005, Morsiani’s Andrea Zittel exhibition was awarded Best Design and Architectural Exhibition by the International Association of Art Critics/USA.

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