Since the early 1990s, Renée Green has become known for multidimensional artworks that chart unseen connections between people, places, and ideas around the globe—from the colonial-era Triangular trade to 20th century student movements. This program brings together a selection of Green’s foundational ’90s projects, all potent explorations of history, memory, and violence. In Mise-en-scène: Commemorative Toile (2020), an essayistic companion to her 1992–93 artwork of the same name, Green looks into the history of the French decorative fabric known as toile and its role in the trans-atlantic slave trade. In Partially Buried (1996) and Partially Buried Continued (1997), she threads together the shifting legacies of Robert Smithson’s earthwork Partially Buried Woodshed (1970), her father’s memories of the Korean War, and differing accounts of South Korea’s pivotal Gwangju Uprising of 1980 to ask “who owns history? Who can represent its complexity?”
Renée Green is an artist, filmmaker, and writer living and working in New York and Somerville, Massachusetts. Her exhibitions, videos, and films have been seen throughout the world in museums, biennales, and festivals. Solo exhibitions of her work have been mounted at the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Harvard University; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne; Portikus, Frankfurt; Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; Vienna Secession; Stichting de Appel, Amsterdam; Dallas Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Jeu de Paume, Paris, among many others. Inevitable Distances, a large-scale retrospective dedicated to Green’s decades-long practice, will be held at the KW Institute of Contemporary Art and daadgalerie in Berlin this fall. Green is also a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Program of Art, Culture, and Technology at the School of Architecture and Planning.
Presented in partnership with Video Data Bank and the Society for Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago
Mise-en-scène: Commemorative Toile
2020, Renée Green, USA, DCP, 6 minutes
Sourced from a text written by the artist in 1994, Commemorative Toile: Mise-en-Scène delves into the circuitous material history of the trans-atlantic slave trade, focusing on the production of the French decorative fabric known as toile. Sliding between the matrix of colonial expansion and Green’s personal research-driven pursuits beginning in Clisson, France, the artist demystifies the social production that connects the Triangular trade to the seemingly private sphere of the home, while attempting to decipher the contradictory pleasures which might accompany them.(Bortolami Gallery)
1996, Renée Green, USA, DCP, 20 minutes
Partially Buried asks, “How do we reinterpret the past? What do we choose to remember or discard?” Green looks to the year 1970 and the campus of Kent State University where she spent time as a child. It was here that artist Robert Smithson produced his site-specific work Partially Buried Woodshed. It was also here that four students were shot while demonstrating against the US invasion of Cambodia. Shortly afterward, someone painted “May 4, 1970” on Partially Buried Woodshed, and the artwork took on another meaning. (Video Data Bank)
Partially Buried Continued
1997, Renée Green, USA, DCP, 36 minutes
Expanding on Partially Buried, Partially Buried Continued focuses on the mingling of past and present by reflecting on the photographic medium. The video reexamines slide films taken during the Korean War by Green’s father; photographs taken in Korea in Kwangju on May 18, 1980, during the democratic uprising and brutal state-sponsored response; and photographs taken by the artist in Kwangju and Seoul during a residency in 1997. Using the works of Robert Smithson and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha as touchstones, Green reflects on memory, memorials, and remembrance, while exploring the complexities of how we find ourselves entangled in relationships to countries, nationalities, and specific moments in time. (Video Data Bank)
Updated COVID-19 Protocols
We care deeply about the well-being and safety of our audiences and staff. With the recent rise of COVID-19 cases, we are updating our health and safety procedures to require proof of full vaccination* or a negative result on a COVID PCR test for all screenings and events at the Film Center.
We know it can be hard to enjoy a movie without knowing the status of the folks sitting close to you. Our hope is that these new procedures will allow you to relax and view our films in the way they’re meant to be seen--with your undivided attention to the screen.
Beginning on Friday, September 10, you will need a valid photo ID and one of the following items to gain entry to the Film Center:
- Physical vaccination card
- A legible photo, copy, or scan of your card; an image on your phone will be acceptable provided that it is legible
- Proof of a negative result on a COVID PCR test conducted within 72 hours of the film or event start time
*Full vaccination means any vaccine for COVID-19 which has received full or emergency use approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO). Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series or a single dose from a one-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use by the FDA or WHO.
You will need to show proof of vaccination status or a negative PCR test result as you enter the theater.
Children under 12 will not be permitted in the theater, since they are not yet eligible to receive a vaccine.
In addition, the Film Center will continue to implement the following safety protocols:
- In accordance with the Governor's recent Executive Order, all patrons and staff will be required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at all times while in the theater
- Staggered showtimes and ample time between shows to mitigate crowds
- Ticket pre-orders for films encouraged to reduce lines and guarantee seats
- Hand sanitizer and disposable face masks available for patrons
- Only 80% of our tickets will be available for sale
- No eating or drinking will be permitted in the theater; no concessions will be sold
The Film Center reserves the right to require patrons who do not follow these procedures to leave the theater immediately.
As always, if you are feeling unwell for any reason, please stay home and stream films instead of joining us at the theater. We are happy to refund or exchange your ticket for another time. In addition, please understand that while these updated procedures are intended to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19, there is nonetheless inherent risk to exposure in any indoor space where others are present. Those entering the theater do so at their own risk to such exposure.
If you have already purchased a ticket for a screening on Friday, September 10 (or beyond) but are unable to comply with these new procedures, please contact us at email@example.com for a refund.
We appreciate your cooperation and support as we continue to navigate the ever-changing COVID landscape.
See you at the movies!
--Your Friends at the Film Center