(San Francisco) - The MUSEUM OF PERFORMANCE + DESIGN (MP+D) continues its exploration of the body in performance with Latifa Medjdoub: Sublimated Masks, an exhibition of costumes, fiber sculptures and prints by French artist LATIFA MEDJDOUB originally developed for the revival of Jean Genet's play The Balcony by COLLECTED WORKS(February 2015). The exhibition conveys the theatrical universe of Genet's landmark play as materialized through Medjdoub's elaborate designs and the theatrical vision Collected Works directors Michael Hunter and Jamie Lyons. The exhibition opens April 16, 2015 with a reception at 5:30pm, a performance at 8pm, and an artist talk at 8:45pm. The exhibition runs through June 20, 2015.
Genet's play tells the story of a revolutionary uprising in the streets of an unnamed city. Most of the action takes place in an elite brothel or "house of illusions," where clients act out their fantasies of institutional power. They play judges, bishops, and generals as their counterparts in the "real" world struggle to maintain their authority. By staging Genet's play inside the San Francisco Old Mint, Michael Allen Hunter and James Charles Lyons invoked the building's own identity as a stronghold of power through San Francisco's turbulent history, further blurring the line between reality and illusion.
With a complex layering of iconography and soft textures, Medjdoub's designs expose the dimensions of reality and illusion, and reveal Genet's concern with metatheatricality, role-playing, the glorification of the image and its reflection. Tending towards exaggeration, they represent an amalgam of internal desires and external realities, ultimately presenting the idea of the costume as a sublimation of character. The exhibition stages 45 pieces: costumes, fiber sculptures and prints by Medjdoub including the characters of the Queen, the Bishop, the General, the Judge, the Police Chief, St Theresa, the Horse, Rosine, the Thief, and the Envoy. A video footage by Jamie Lyons bring the remembrance of Collected Works' February performance and complete the installation.
Born in France, LATIFA MEDJDOUB has been living and working in San Francisco since 2000. Her work's most consistent theme is the mixing of genres, tools, and techniques, an approach perfectly suited to her continued exploration of the phenomenon of social mixing and hybridization that continually redefine global culture and communities. Trained at the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et du Textile of Roubaix, France, Medjdoub collaborated with leading artists including Philippe Guillotel, Yvonne Sassinot de Nesle, Christian Lacroix, Gabriella Pescucci, Marina Draghici and directors Philippe Decouflé, Yves Angelo, Marcel Maréchal, Raul Ruiz, Chris Terrio. Her work has been shown at the Museum of Textile and Fine Arts, Roubaix France; Cheongju Art Center, Korea; De Cordova Museum, MA; Santa Fe Art institute, NM; National Building Museum, DC. (latifamedjdoub.com).
COLLECTED WORKS was founded in 2012 by a group of directors, actors, and designers, most of whom met in the PhD program in Drama at Stanford, where they worked under the guidance of Carl Weber. Collected Works explores a collaborative model that coalesces classic texts, physical performance, and sound and design elements in unconventional spaces with the goal to inspire audiences to form personal relationships with the characters within the performance and the places in which they perform (www.collectedworks.org).
Founded in 1947,the MUSEUM OF PERFORMANCE + DESIGN stands out as one of the largest archives on the performing arts in the nation. Its collection of 3.5M items holds a part of the rich history of performance and theater design in the West and a part of the unique history of the city of San Francisco. MP+D is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For further information on the collection, programs and exhibitions, visit MP+D at www.mpdsf.org or call 415-255-4800.
Latifa Medjdoub: Sublimated Masks
Museum of Performance + Design
In partnership with Collected Works
April 16 - June 20, 2015
Gallery hours: Wed.-Sat., 12:30-5:30pm (Thur. Until7:30pm)
Opening Reception April 16, 2015
5:30pm exhibition opens
8:00pm Performance installation
8:45pm Artist Talk
Museum of Performance + Design
893B Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94107