Invocation for a Wandering Lake: Parts 1 & 2
Please note: visitors are invited for outdoor screenings of Chang’s film (12 min, looped), projected onto Ballroom’s exterior at sundown (8:30pm – 10pm), Wednesday through Sunday, April 9–25. Masks and social distancing are required.
Ballroom Marfa selected Patty Chang’s Invocation for a Wandering Lake: Parts 1 & 2 (2016) for the 2021 season of Artists’ Film International (AFI). The work calls for contemplation of human and non-human lives, the natural environment, and destructive geopolitical forces, as we witness the artist in ritual acts of care and mourning.
The lifeless body of a whale floats off the coast of Newfoundland’s Fogo Islands, a former fishing hub. The artist Patty Chang is seen meditatively washing the deceased animal. With similar attention, she scrubs the shell of an abandoned ship in the desert of Muynak, Uzbekistan, a defunct seaport on the receded Aral Sea. These repetitive acts seem almost absurd and unnecessary, as these entities could never return to life. Nevertheless, she continues to perform rituals of care, perhaps as a way to process their fateful ends.
Over the last year, we collectively experienced extreme loss due to the ongoing pandemic. If we are to create new ways of living, perhaps we first need to practice ways of mourning, mending, and contemplating through rituals of care, as the film suggests.
Organized in conjunction with Whitechapel Gallery in London, Artists’ Film International (AFI) is a program that showcases international artists working in film, video and animation. Every year all participating institutions nominate a moving-image work from an artist living and working in their country. This year, all film nominations are tied together around the theme of care.
Patty Chang (b.1972) is a Los Angeles-based artist and educator who uses performance, video, installation, and narrative forms when considering identity, gender, transnationalism, colonial legacies, the environment, large-scale infrastructural projects, and impacted subjectivities. Her work has been exhibited nationwide and internationally at such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; New Museum, New York; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; BAK, Basis voor actuele Kunst, Utrecht; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, England; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Times Museum in Guangzhou, China; and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. She has received a United States Artist Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant, a Creative Capital Fellowship, short listed for the Hugo Boss Prize, a Guna S. Mundheim Fellowship in the Visual Arts at the American Academy in Berlin, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and an Anonymous Was a Woman Grant. She teaches at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
ARTISTS' FILM INTERNATIONAL
Organized in conjunction with Whitechapel Gallery, London, AFI is a program that showcases international artists working in film, video and animation.
Each international venue that participates in AFI nominates a moving image work from an artist who lives and works in their country. The 2021 AFI institutions are:
Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa
Belgrade Cultural Centre, Belgrade, Serbia
Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden
Contemporary Art Center (CAC), Vilnius, Lithuania
Centre for Contemporary Arts Afghanistan (CCAA), Kabul, Afghanistan
Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland
Fundacion PRÓA, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Galleria D’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA
Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey
KWM artcentre, Beijing, China
Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), Manila, Philippines
Mohammad and Mahera Abu Ghazaleh Foundation, Amman, Jordan
Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia
Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein kunst forum (n.b.k.), Berlin, Germany
Para Site, Hong Kong
Project 88, Mumbai, India
rhizome Agency, Algiers, Algeria
Tromsø Kunstforening, Tromsø, Norway
Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK
AFI 2021 was organized by curator Daisy Nam.
Special thanks to the artist, Jisoo Chung, Jim Fissel and Jim Martinez, Mckenzie Goodman, Adam Stacey, and Gory Smelly.