Opening on January 10, 2007, David Zwirner is pleased to present the first U.S. viewing of Klatsassin, an exhibition of new work by Canadian artist Stan Douglas. In 2006, Klatsassin premiered at the Vienna Secession in Vienna, Austria. The exhibition at David Zwirner is concurrent with Stan Douglas: Inconsolable Memories at The Studio Museum in Harlem, on view through March 18, 2007, which features a major work: a 16mm film based in part on Tomás Gutiérrez Alea's 1968 film, Memorias del Subdesarrollo (Memories of Underdevelopment). Douglas recently co-curated Beyond Cinema: The Art of Projection, Films, Videos, and Installations from 1963 to 2005 at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, Germany (through February 4, 2007). A monograph of Douglas' work from the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection was recently published by Dumont.
Stan Douglas has exhibited at many major instutitions in the United States and abroad, including DIA Center for the Arts, New York, NY; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland; Tate Modern, London, England; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, among many others. He has participated in several biennials including Venice, Sao Paolo, Istanbul, Berlin, Sydney, and Liverpool. This will be Douglas' eighth solo exhibition at David Zwirner.
Klatsassin takes its title from a Tsilhqot'in chief (the Tsilhqot'in are Athapascan-speaking Aboriginal people in British Columbia) and will include two series of photographs and a high-definition video projection. The video, set in 1864 in the forests of Canada's Cariboo Mountains, focuses on the hostility between the Tsilhqot'in tribe and encroaching settlers seeking gold on the Chilcotin Plateau. Klatsassin led an insurgency but at first evaded capture. He was eventually lured with the gift of tobacco, taken prisoner, tried for murder, and hanged.
Like many of Douglas' previous works, most notably Journey into Fear (2001) and Suspiria (2003), Klatsassin is a recombinant work–essentially non-linear, it defies the limitations of a traditional film format by having no real beginning or end. Referencing Akira Kurosawa's legendary film Rashomon (1950), in which a plot is described in several contradictory ways, in Klatsassin a murder unfolds through flashbacks, time shifts, ambiguous cuts, and multiple perspectives. Douglas refers to the film as a "dub western," as its multi-layered plot develops much like a musical composition, with five levels of narration that interrupt and overlap one another. The soundtrack was composed by contemporary Berlin dub project, Rhythm & Sound.
Also on display will be two series of photographs; the first a group of cinematic-format landscapes and interiors in British Columbia–Stanley Cemetery, a Masonic Lodge in Barkerville, the Maritime Worker's Hall and McLeod's Books in Vancouver, Quesnel Forks, Walhachin, and Spences Bridge–the second a series of black and white portraits of the characters from Klatsassin.