Sean Snyder, Exhibition, 2008. Installation in The Front Room, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2009. Photo by Nicole Stevens.
Contemporary Art Museum
January 23-May 3, 2009
Drawing from media, press agencies, databases, and archives, Sean Snyder considers the global circulation of information and the continuous evolution of its interpretations. Taking the 1965 Soviet documentary film Noble Impulses of Soul as subject and source material, Snyder’s film Exhibition (2008) examines social conventions of art and questions what might be universal about the aesthetic experience. In the original 1965 film, the narrator praises efforts of a provincial museum in the village of Parkhomivka in eastern Ukraine, which presents an exhibition of contemporary Mexican art and an art history lecture at a village farm. rearranging the film’s components — eliminating the voice of the narrator and editing the chronology — Snyder re-presents the Soviet documentary as a rumination on the language of art and exhibition-making. At its heart, Exhibition is a video about art and what happens with art — its presentation, its reception, and conversations it generates.
Sean Snyder casts his eye upon undefined, hybrid areas characteristic of modern urban structures (airport exits, graffitis, wrecked park benches). During Manifesta 2, he hands out posters made of collages of photographs from specific places in Luxembourg and Gibraltar. The two cities are no longer distinguishable. Sean Snyder exemplifies the subversive approach of the emerging young generation of artists who refuse to give in to the fascination of media.
Sean Snyder was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 1972, and he lives and works in Kiev and Tokyo. Solo exhibitions include: The Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2009); Sala Rekalde, Bilbao (2007); National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, (2007); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, (2006); Van Abbe Museum, eindhoven, netherlands (2006); Portikus, Frankfurt, (2005); Secession, Vienna, (2005); and de Appel, Amsterdam (2004). Group exhibitions include: 4th and 6th Gwangju Biennale (2002, 2006); 9th Istanbul Biennial (2005); and Manifesta 2, Luxembourg (1998).