Simon Preston is pleased to present Funes, a three-part film installation by Brooklyn- based artist Jenny Perlin. Her first exhibition at the gallery will open to the public on Sunday 4 March and run until Sunday 15 April, 2012.
Jenny Perlin is known for her films, videos, installations, and drawings. Her projects draw on her interests in history, cultural studies, literature and linguistics. Working with and against the documentary tradition, her films incorporate innovative stylistic techniques to emphasize issues of truth, misunderstanding, and both personal and collective history.
Funes is based on Jorge Luis Borges’ short story about a young man who gains an infallible memory from being thrown by a horse. The installation consists of a short animated 16mm film alongside two larger-scale video projections, which together elaborate the artist’s longstanding interest in sharing the experience of reading. Funes works to fully expand the original text through animation, narration, musical soundtrack and the labor of copying as a means to deeper comprehension. A short 16mm film isolates specific visual elements from the story, i.e. a cigarette or flower, and animates them in their most basic form. The entire text, copied by hand, is accompanied by narration in the original Spanish, read by the artists Bibi Calderaro and Luis Camnitzer. In addition, a single musical element is extracted from a short composition by Igor Stravinsky and played in turn by three bassoonists. Funes’ involuntary and incessant memory is a torment to him. Borges reflects that to think is to forget differences, generalize, and make abstractions. These themes extend Perlin’s interest in detail, detritus, and language. The converging elements in Funes become a reflection on the structure of memory itself.
Perlin’s films have been shown as single-channel works and multi-channel installations at numerous venues including the Guggenheim Museum (2011), Mass MoCA (2011), MoMA, (2007), Guangzhou Triennial (2008), IFC Center (2008), Berlin and Rotterdam film festivals (2003-2007), the Drawing Center (2001 and 2008), and The Kitchen (2006).
She received her BA from Brown University in Literature and Society, her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Film, and completed postgraduate studies at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York.