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Autopsy of the New Millennium: JGB exhibition opens tomorrow in BarcelonaAuthor: Simon Sellars • Jul 22nd, 2008 •
Here is some much-anticipated and very exciting news.
The exhibition JG Ballard, Autopsy of the New Millennium, celebrating the work and enduring influence of J.G. Ballard, opens tomorrow at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. It will feature stage sets and audiovisual installations inspired by Ballard, a library of Ballard’s writings, and works by Ballardian-inspired artists, filmmakers, sound artists and more.
It runs from 22 July to 2 November 2008 and coincides in October with Kosmopolis, Barcelona’s annual international literary festival at the CCCB. For 2008 Kosmopolis will feature two sessions devoted to Ballard, thereby integrating itself within the exhibition. The first session looks at Ballard’s influence on Hispanic writers and the second focuses on his influence in the English-speaking world. Participants in these sessions will include Paco Porrúa, Marcial Souto, Marta Peirano, Toby Litt, Bruce Sterling, Agustín Fernández Mallo, V. Vale … and, gulp, myself (as a late addition, so my name is not yet on the website in case you’re wondering if I’m making it all up). I feel privileged to be among such esteemed company, and I hope I can do ballardian.com — and of course Mr Ballard himself — justice among this selection of sheer heavyweights!
There has been a little more crosssover with this site and the exhibition. I was more than happy to help the organisers with some of the research needed to set ‘Autopsy of the New Millennium’ up. This site’s focus on Ballardian-inspired visual art, for example, led to some of the artists I’ve featured (including Michelle Lord) being invited to exhibit their work at the CCCB, and the contestants in our 1st Ballardian Festival of Home Movies will also have their 1-minute films screened throughout the exhibition’s run. In addition, the CCCB are running another Ballardian Home Movie competition, the Catalan version, inspired by ours, and once the exhibition is over I will be hosting those movies over here. Finally, I wrote the catalogue notes for the Home Movie screenings and also curated and wrote the catalogue notes for a selection of Ballardian sound art and music to be played in various cubicles throughout the exhibition.
To celebrate the opening of this wonderful event, I will be devoting most of this week and sporadic posts throughout the next few weeks to a selection of articles to do with the autopsy being performed on the new millennium at the CCCB. This will include an interview with the exhibition curators, a fabulous essay on Ballard’s significance written by the Conference Commissioner, Jordi Costa, a video made by the CCCB to commemorate the event, an interview with Solveig Nordlund, the director of Aparelho Voador a Baixa Altitude (Low-Flying Aircraft; 2002), the little-seen Swedish/Portuguese Ballard feature adaptation that will be screening at the exhibition, roving reports from our man on the ground, Rick McGrath (whose massive collection of rare and valuable Ballard first editions will also be on display), and perhaps the catalogues I wrote for the sound art selection accompanied by a mixtape/muxtape of selected tracks.
Of course, also visit the official exhibition blog for much more information as the exhibition goes on.
From the CCCB:
This exhibition offers an itinerary through Ballard’s creative universe: his times and obsessions, his dissection of the secret keys of the contemporary, the traces of his own life in his fictional body of work, his artistic and literary referents, and his precise, disenchanted intuitions of a future life governed by the concepts of aseptic dystopia and disaster.
Ballard’s work represents an open-ended body of work that still has many revelations in store for his readers and the capacity to throw light on the course of our future. An author with an enormous influence on later generations of creators in all disciplines, from fantasy cinema to industrial music, Ballard is the author, among many other works, of The Empire of the Sun and Crash, adapted for the cinema by Spielberg and David Cronenberg, respectively.
The sections of the exhibition are:
• “What I believe”
• From Shanghai to Shepperton
• Landscapes of Dream
• Inner space
• Disaster area
• Technology and pornography
• Asepsis and neo-barbarism
• Bibliographical area
• Ballardian art
…:: FURTHER INFO:
Newer: J.G. Ballard, Autopsy of the New Millennium: Press Release »