• Javier Téllez, Caligari und der Schlafwandler (Caligari and the Sleepwalker), 2008, Super 16 transferred to HD video, black-and-white, sound, 27 minutes 7 seconds.

    Javier Téllez

    Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK)
    Jan Hoetplein 1
    October 12, 2013–January 26, 2014

    Curated by Thomas Caron

    Rarely does a pedagogical practice rooted in a deeply ethical consciousness produce such incandescent work—and if said practice primarily concerns “madness,” the architectonics of confinement, and structural film, its lack of ponderousness is all the more remarkable. Venezuelan artist Javier Téllez is uniquely gifted in this regard. In his moving-image works, often made in collaboration with psychiatric inpatients, Téllez employs simultaneously lucid and hallucinatory admixtures of fact and fantasia to rework accepted ideologies of mental health and artistic production. This survey offers ten years of the artist’s collaborations, with videos dating from 2004 to 2012 and, if all goes as planned, a new collection of images and documents that limn the representation of psychiatric illness. Taken as a mode d’emploi, this archive underlines Téllez’s interest in the historical representation of the pathological (and thus its mirror, the normative) from both within and outside the hospital gates.

    Travels to Kunsthaus Zürich, fall 2014.