Instance No. 3: Michel Auder + Michael Stickrod present May ’68 in ’78
Sunday, Nov. 10 | 12–1 p.m. (Beeler Gallery is open from 12-6 p.m.)
Beeler Gallery is ALWAYS FREE and open to the public. Free parking available.
*Please note that elements of this installation will remain on view after Nov. 10 until March 15, 2020.
At 12 p.m., enjoy hand-poured coffee station by Brioso Coffee. At 12:30 p.m, join Ohio-based artist Michael Stickrod and Director of Exhibitions Jo-ey Tang for an introduction of the collaborative project Staples and Rubber Bands (1969-2019) by Michael Stickrod and New York-based French artist Michel Auder. Throughout Season Two: Follow the Mud, sculptural installations by Stickrod set the scene for Auder’s video works. Instance No. 3 on Nov. 10 is a world premiere of May ’68 in ’78, a newly–edited and newly subtitled video of never-before-seen interviews with artists, workers, police, tax collectors, grocers, and his mother, among others, on the reverberation of the student movement in France in 1968, shot 10 years after. Seen in the context of the present cultural and political moment, how will May ’68 in ’78 read 50 years later, in 2019?
“In 1978 Michel Auder returned to Paris after living in New York for nearly a decade. Traveling with his friend, the artist Larry Rivers, and equipped with a video camera (which Rivers operated), and the relatively new technology of a wireless microphone, Auder interviewed friends he hadn’t seen for many years—as well as numerous strangers he encountered on the street—about their memories of the events surrounding the student uprisings and national strike that took place across France in Spring 1968. This footage was to be shown alongside a large drawing by Rivers and exhibited within a public sculpture created by Swiss artist Jean Tinguely. Ultimately, technical limitations prevented its exhibition and the video remained unseen, and largely forgotten, until Michael Stickrod, a frequent collaborator with Auder, discovered it and began to digitize and edit the immense archive of interviews.
In May ’68 in ’78 Auder presents a wide-ranging, freewheeling portrait of how people experienced and remembered the events surrounding what has become known as “May ’68.” Throughout the video, Auder takes on the respective roles of television news reporter and intimate confidant, speaking with a wide array of subjects—some who perceived the strikes and social upheaval as a nuisance, a few who participated in the destruction of property, and many others who saw the acts as largely symbolic, which is not to say socially or historically inconsequential.
Auder, who lived in in Paris in 1968 and captured some of the events that took place there with a 16-millimeter camera, only to lose the footage when he left the country the following year, thus engages in an act of repetition and, arguably, reenactment, recreating in video testimonials what he had previously documented in film. Indeed, Auder’s spirited exchanges with a range of individuals—from store owners to artists to security guards—in certain respects, rehearses the sorts of random, joyful encounters among strangers of varying social classes that numerous participants in the events 10 years earlier recalled as being, perhaps, its most unprecedented and radical political effects.
For the video’s debut presentation for Follow the Mud, Stickrod has installed a pair of sculptural bleachers and cone-shaped speakers whose forms draw attention to the fundamentally spectacular and theatrical nature of so many memories recalled in the video. At the same time their expansive—if not barricade-like—occupation of the gallery space seems to prohibit the sorts of communal, participatory actions often associated with the public imagination of May ‘68. If these skeletal renderings of collective spectatorship suggest a public long dispersed or perhaps, more optimistically, yet to assemble, Stickrod’s inclusion of large bunches of dried goldenrod and ironweed suspended inside the bleachers offers a natural analog to the recorded memories and their preservation that Auder’s video performs.” – Robert Slifkin
A commissioned text by Robert Slifkin will be published in the form of a takeaway poster designed by Vier5. Available at the gallery.
This is part of Downtown Art Sunday, which brings together downtown art spaces for a day of art with special programming. Participants include Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus Museum of Art, Cultural Arts Center, Hawk Galleries, OSU Urban Art Space, OAC Riffe Gallery and Contemporary Art Matters. Itinerary and programming begins at Beeler Gallery at noon.
For more details on this year’s programming and a suggested itinerary, please visit Downtown Art Sunday website.