Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler photographs – “Sunrise Filmset Sunset” – Out Now

Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, Sunrise Filmset Sunset, 2013. 

Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, Sunrise Filmset Sunset (1), 2013.Ballroom Marfa is collaborating on a new project by Austin-based artists Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler. Giant will be the last in a trilogy of video installations exploring the social and physical sites of cinema in the southwest United States. Since 2010, the artists have been making periodic visits to Marfa to film and record on location. Currently in post-production, Giant is slated to premiere in a solo exhibition at Ballroom Marfa in 2014. The exhibition will feature all three projects in the completed trilogy and will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue. To initiate fundraising for the exhibition and monograph, Ballroom Marfa announces a new photographic edition by Hubbard / Birchler now for sale: Sunrise Filmset Sunset.

Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, Sunrise Filmset Sunset (2), 2013.About Giant
Each component of the trilogy interweaves and unpacks layers of cinema history. The first part, completed in 2009 and titled Grand Paris Texas, considers simultaneously the physical and social space of a dead cinema, a forgotten song and the inhabitants of a small town. The film connects three seminal movies of the southwest: Wim Wenders’s ‘Paris, Texas’ (1984), Bruce Bereford’s ‘Tender Mercies’ (1983), and King Baggot’s classic silent film, ‘Tumbleweeds’ (1925). Méliès, a two-channel video completed in 2011, explores the residue of cinema and social terrain around the site of Movie Mountain in West Texas. Searching for the origin of the mountain’s name, Hubbard / Birchler embarked on a journey traversing the landscape of early silent-era film production and uncovered a possible relationship between Movie Mountain and Gaston Méliès, the lesser known brother and business partner of the famous filmmaker George Méliès.

Giant, the third component produced in collaboration with Ballroom Marfa, is a detailed, impressionistic observation of a decayed, iconic film set - the set of a mansion called Reata built for the epic 1956 Warner Brother’s film ‘Giant.’ The three-sided facade structure was designed to appear as an imposing, decadent mansion on a wealthy cattle ranch, and it played a central role in ‘Giant’ alongside actors Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean. Once the filming of ‘Giant’ was complete, the set was abandoned in the landscape.

Filming entirely on location at a private ranch just outside of Marfa, Texas, Hubbard / Birchler explore the remains of the film set over an extended period of time, as the seasons and weather change, as day turns to night, and as parts of the structure swing and fall off. Working in a ‘Pure Cinema’ style, the artists have recorded detailed observations of change and difference over the course of a year. In a nod to the Brechtian theatrical strategies of distancing and self absorption, Giant also records a film crew as they appear unexpectedly and set up movie lights, building towards a ‘dramatic’ yet fleeting illumination of the ruin in the dark.

Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, Sunrise Filmset Sunset (3), 2013.Support Giant
Giant will premiere in January 2014 at Ballroom Marfa in a solo show of the artists’ work and, the exhibition will be the first presentation of the completed trilogy. An accompanying catalogue publication is also planned. Following exhibition in Marfa, the show is slated to travel to the Blaffer Museum of Art, Houston and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.

Ballroom Marfa is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, founded in the spring of 2003 by Virginia Lebermann and Fairfax Dorn as a center for public exploration of contemporary art and culture. As an advocate for the freedom of artistic expression, Ballroom Marfa’s mission is to serve international, national, regional, and local arts communities and support the work of both emerging and recognized artists working in all media. Since its inception, Ballroom Marfa has worked directly with artists in commissioning new work and realizing projects that would be impossible in a traditional gallery or museum setting. Giant, as a collaboration with Hubbard / Birchler, is a continuation of this legacy.

The 2014 presentation of the trilogy has the potential to be Ballroom Marfa’s most engaged exhibition yet. As the commissioning partner for the production of Giant, Ballroom Marfa announces a new limited-edition photograph available for sale. Shot on location by Hubbard / Birchler, Sunrise Filmset Sunset shows the skeleton of the Reata structure twice from an identical vantage point, immersed within a dramatic, yet banal, atmosphere of natural light: the beginning and ending of a day.

Sunrise Filmset Sunset represents a unique opportunity to participate in this important project. Supporters will be acknowledged as underwriters in all printed and digital collateral material supporting the exhibition at Ballroom Marfa as well as the forthcoming exhibition catalogue.

Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, Sunrise Filmset Sunset, 2013.
Medium: Diptych photographs,
Size: 43.5 x 54.5 inches (each),
Edition of 6 + 2 AP ,
Signed and numbered,
Price: $12,000 (unframed).   SOLD OUT

These Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler photographs are available at Ballroom Marfa