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In Conversation with Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler

4 Apr 2014

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Giant.
Image by Fredrik Nilsen.

During the second month of Hubbard/Birchler’s exhibition, Sound Speed Marker, Ballroom Marfa’s intern, Francesca Altamura, spoke with the artist duo about the works featured in the exhibition, comprising of three films, nine photographs and an installation located in the courtyard.

Teresa Hubbard, born in Dublin, Ireland 1965 and and Alexander Birchler, born in Baden, Switzerland 1962 have been working collaboratively in video, photography and sculpture since 1990. The exhibition Sound Speed Marker will be on view at Ballroom Marfa until July 31, 2014, traveling next to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland in December 2014 and the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, Texas in May 2015.

Francesca Altamura: How would you describe the three featured video works, Grand Paris Texas (2009), Movie Mountain (Méliès) (2011) and Giant (2014) to viewers who may not have been introduced to your work before?

Alexander Birchler: There are three video installations, a trilogy, presented at Ballroom, including the premiere of Giant which was commissioned by Ballroom Marfa. All three works explore, in different ways, the physical and social traces that movies and movie making leaves behind.

FA: How has living in Austin, influenced the direction of your current, and future, works?

Teresa Hubbard: We’ve lived and worked in many places and we’ve moved around a lot over the time we’ve known each other — different cities and towns in Canada, Switzerland, Germany and the United States. During the past decade that we’ve been primarily based in Austin, we’ve gotten close to a number of people who are also based in Austin, and they work with us during the research phase, on location and in post production. These are long-term relationships which we really appreciate and have become such an important part of our community.

FA: What was your initial intrigue with the films Paris, Texas and Giant (1956)? Do these films evoke a sense of nostalgic reminiscence for you both?