Centre for Contemporary Images - Saint-Gervais Genève

2 September - 17 October 2004
Maria Marshall - video installation

opening Wednesday 1st September 2004 at 6pm
exhibition open: Tuesday - Sunday, noon to 6pm - free entry
            Centre for Contemporary Images

The Center for Contemporary Images is pleased to present seven videos by the British artist Maria Marshall:

(see below...)

Maria Marshall, Playground, 2001

The images filmed by Marshall have a clarity and a formal beauty that take one’s breath away and invariably appeal to viewers. Yet just as their charm begins to work, a feeling of unease, even of rejection, takes root. For good reason: Marshall, thanks to spellbinding, meticulously controlled images, hunts down and brings to light fears that we are unable to voice or are drawn from our collective unconscious; at the same time she questions our moral principles, especially with respect to the world of childhood.
When the T-rex Gets the Children, for example, a particularly unsettling piece, features the artist’s young son. The child, with his winning smile, looks at us with a sparkle in his large brown eyes. At first the boy is shot in extreme close-up from above, then the camera gradually pulls away and up, eventually revealing the context, i.e., he is isolated in a padded cell and is wearing a straitjacket. The boy’s carefree look now takes on a completely different aspect in viewers’ eyes. An uneasy feeling of the same order creeps over us while watching the film When I Grow up I Want to be a Cooker, where the artist’s son, aged two, smokes a cigarette with immense pleasure. The boy is in fact drawing on a toy cigarette; the smoke was added in postproduction. The scene, mounted in a loop, lasts just a few seconds and proves almost unbearable, yet fascinating too, thanks to its formal qualities.

Maria Marshall, When I grow up I want to be a cooker, 1998

In fact, the sequences filmed by Marshall might be considered mini Hollywood productions. The artist thinks through and painstakingly details her scenarios (the text, atmospheres, lighting, etc.) before they are staged and shot in super 8, 16 or even 35 mm with the help of a small team of assistants. The sequences are then reworked using various postproduction methods (insets, special effects, etc.). While Marshall makes use of film conventions (slow motion, close up, in-and-out movement of the camera), references to the cinema are equally present in the sets, atmospheres and narrative structures of the artist’s videos.
Certain works, like 10000 Frames, function in a different register. In that piece the artist presents a six-minute synopsis of a trip taken with her two sons to Disney World. The experience is shown speeded up; the voice of one of the boys offers us a running commentary of the expedition, also at top speed. It sounds as if it is made up of phrases initially spoken by his mother such as “Eat, eat, eat!” Although this video is not devoid of humor, the frantic rhythm of their lightning journey in one of the havens of consumerism also seems to be a biting critique of consumption and its fleeting pleasures.

Maria Marshall, Don’t let the T-Rex get the children,1999

Maria Marshall

Maria Marshall born in 1966 in Bombay, India
BA, Honors Degree, Wimbledon School of Art, London, Great Britain
Chelsea School of Art, London, Great Britain
Ecole des Beaux Arts, Geneva, Switzerland
Lives and works in London.

Solo Exhibitions (selection)

Taché-Lévy, Brussels, Beligium
Cosmic, Paris, France
Team Gallery, New York, NY (forthcoming)
Herzliya Museum, Herzliya, Israel (forthcoming)

Salon 94, New York, USA

Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, Marseille, France
Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
Team Gallery, New York, USA
Fine Lines, Konsthallen Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden
Site Gallery, Sheffield, Great Britain
Project Space Swiss Institute, New York, USA

Arndt & Partner, Berlin, Germany
Freiburger Kunstverein, Freiburg, Germany
Team Gallery, New York, USA

Dot, London, Great Britain
Dorothee De Pauw, Brussels, Belgium
Galerie Vaclav Spaly, Prague, Czech Republic
Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, France
Yves St. Laurent, Paris, France
Oliver Art Center, CCAC Institute, Oakland, USA
Gallery 400, University of Illinois, Chicago, USA

Team Gallery, New York, USA
Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Real Art Ways, Harford, USA

Team Gallery, New York, USA

Maria Marshall, Pinnocchio, 2003

Group Exhibitions (selection)

Zwischenwelten, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden, Germany

Clash of Cultures, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, (curated by Kathrin Becker), Berlin, Germany
Silent Screams Difficult Dreams, Arndt & Partner, Berlin, Germany
The American Effect, The Whitney Museum of American Art (curated by Larry Rinder), New York, USA
Ninos, Centro de Arte de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
Child in Time, Gemeentemuseum Helmond, Helmond, Netherlands
Throw Back: Cory Arcangel & Beige, Maria Marshall, Jon Routson, Team Gallery, New York, USA
Video Invitational, f a projects, London, Great Britain
Urban Collisions, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany

Slow Motion, Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany
Self/In Material Conscience, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo per l’Arte, Turin, Italy
The Collective Unconsciousness, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland
Private Affairs, Kunst Haus Dresden, Städtische Galerie für Gegenwartskunst, Dresden, Germany

Urban Nature, Göteborgs Konsthall, Göteborg, Sweden
Casino 2001, S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium
Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, Team Gallery, New York, USA
Video Jam, Palm Beach Institute of the Arts (curated by Michael Rush), Palm Beach, USA
Beau Fixe, Centre Photographique d’Ile de France, Pontault-Combault, France

In A Lonely Place, National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, Bradford, Great Britain
Chelsea Rising, Contemporary Arts Center (curated by David S. Rubin), New Orleans, USA
Double Trouble, Borusan Centre for Culture and Arts, Istanbul, Turkey
Wonderland, Bakalar and Huntington Galleries, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, USA
Petty Crimes, The Laing Art Gallery, Tyne-Wear Museums, Newcastle; Glasgow Museum of Modern Art, Glasgow; York City Art Gallery, York, Great Britain

GMI Screen, Leicester Square, London, Great Britain
Some Secrets, Kunsthalle St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Sensitive: Photographie & Art Visuels, Le Printemps de Cahors, Cahors, France
Topologies, White Box, New York, USA
Faith: The Impact of Judeo-Christian Religion on Contemporary Art at the Millenium, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, USA

The Sexual Child, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick/Maine, USA
Hi8, CAPC, Cuimbra, Portugal
Shiny, Shiny, Team Gallery, New York, USA
Common People: British Art between phenomenon and reality, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo per l'Arte, Turin, Italy
Space Place, Kunsthalle Tirol, Hall, Austria

Screening, Beaconsfield, London, Great Britain
The Art and Science of the Unborn Child, 210 Gallery, Welcome Trust, London, Great Britain

Catalogues and publications
The American Effect, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, curated by Larry Rinder, catalogue, New York 2003

On line


Maria Marshall, 10000 Frames, 2004