Curated by Tessa Giblin
A portrait of a country, a man, a landscape and of the story of an orphaned Hollywood movie.Revisiting sites, areas and characters from a 20 year old screenplay, and one of the biggest financial and cultural flops in the history of cinema, this three screen installation is a portrait with a subject as complex as it is mysterious. Adria Julia’s beautifully filmed sequences are meditative, composed more through the grammar of phtography than film to create a startling document of time.
Adria Julia is an artist whos perceptive gaze and rigorous research is paramount in the winding, associative trajectory of his artworks. Born in Barcelona he lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been shown in the recent Seoul Media City (2010), Lyon Biennale (2009) and Mercosul Biennial (2009), and will be included in an exhibition at Witte de With, Rotterdam also opening September 2011.
Remaking, renovating, retooling and re-imagining are all words used to describe the reconstitution of a piece of media into a new form, often very similar to the original. Adrià Julià’s revisiting of the Hollywood film Inchon is more a portrait of a film. Incorporating ideas of translation and adaptation, Julià has attempted to make an artwork that inhabits the trajectory of the film and its story, bringing to the fore the context of its making, potentially as a story about the film industry in general.Haunted by propaganda, a desire for heroism and the financial, artistic and ethical compromises that bogged the production from start to finish, the legend of Inchon is one of failure. It was a monumental box-office flop, was criticised heavily on its reception in both South Korea and the US, and is today often remembered as one of the worst movies ever made.Inspired by the perceived heroism of General Douglas MacArthur’s beach landing at Incheon during the Korean War, the film was funded and produced by Reverend Sung Myung Moon, the controversial founder of the Unification Church of Korea. The script was suspected of harbouring propagandistic messages and stories soon began to emerge of linguistic and cultural misunderstanding on set, fuelled by the idiotic decision to film (as a matter of convenience) the people’s uprising in Gwangju that resulted in the Gwangju Massacre of 1980. Inchon was doomed to failure before it was even released.In order to piece together the story and context Julià visited film locations of Inchon throughout Korea, compiled media reviews and news articles, and conducted interviews with some of the film’s original cast and crew. Film and television actor Namgung Won is an immediately identifiable star in Korea, but is presented in Notes on the Missing Oh only after the conclusion of his interview – silently seated as the film rolls, alone in front of his own portrait.On an opposite screen in the gallery, the current status of the film is expanded on through an interview with Dick Millais, a Los Angeles film industry expert on whose desk the orphaned film landed. The silent film and the interview together reveal varying aspects of this story, helping to weave a complex tapestry of images and recollections around the subject.Most clearly articulated are the physical and cultural landscapes of Korea, composed more through the grammar of still photography rather than film. Relegated to a backdrop of the war-time romance, Adrià Julià’s beautifully filmed sequences shift the landscapes into focus. He captures sites from Inchon that are now destitute, some developed beyond recognition or others hardly changed at all, creating a startling enveloping of time since the 30-year old screenplay was written.
Notes on the Missing Oh continues to be developed and at Project Arts Centre Adrià Julià will include a new film produced for the exhibition in Dublin. Julià has been working with a composer to turn the script – hand-copied from an original 1978 version lodged in a Los Angeles library – into both visual and musical scores, which will eventually be filmed as it is interpreted and performed by a band.
Adrià Julià was born in Barcelona, Spain, and lives and works in Los Angeles. He has held solo exhibitions at the Museo Tamayo (Mexico City), Insa Art Space (Seoul), Orange County Museum of Art (Newport Beach, California), LAXART (Los Angeles), Artists Space (NY), Centro Cultural Montehermoso (Vitoria, Spain), Room Gallery (Univeristy of California Irvine), Sala Rekalde (Bilbao), Galería Soledad Lorenzo (Madrid), Sketch (London) and La Virreina (Barcelona). He has also participated in group shows at Generali Foundation in Vienna, Seoul Media City, Akademie der Künste Berlin, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, and at the 2007 Lyon Biennale and the 7th Mercosur Biennale. He has presented performances at the 29th Sao Paulo Bienal and at Galeria Soledad Lorenzo (Madrid) and participated at Serpentine Cinema: Cinact. Julià has been a grantee of Art Matters, American Center Foundation and California Community Foundation.
With thanks to the Instituto Cervantes, Dublín and the Spanish Embassy in Ireland for their generous support of the exhibition and production of the new work.
Select Solo Exhibitions
Utopia, Ohio. BCN Producció – La Capella, Barcelona, Spain
Indications for Another Place. Museo Tamayo, Mexico DF, Mexico
Ruinas del Habla. Galeria Soledad Lorenzo, Madrid, Spain
We Used to Talk about Objects as Found. Sketch, London, United Kingdom
No Place Like Home. Insa Art Space, Seoul, Korea
Indicios Para Otro Lugar. Centro de Arte Montehermoso, Vitoria, Spain
A Means of Passing the Time. LA><ART, Los Angeles, USA
Adrià Julià. Galeria Soledad Lorenzo. Madrid, Spain
Home Movies. Associates, London, United Kingdom
Truc Trang Walls. The Room Gallery, University of California, Irvine, USA
Adrià Julià. Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, USA
La Villa Basque, Vernon, California. Artists Space, New York, USA
Select Group Exhibitions
Shifting Surfaces : Experience, Perspectives and Media. Artsonje Museum, Gyeong Ju, Korea
Trust – Seoul Media City. Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
Before Everything. CA2M, Mostoles, Spain
L.A. Invisible City. Instituto Cervantes, Madrid, Spain
Serpentine Cinema: CINACT. Adrià Julià and Samuel Stevens. The Gate, London, United Kingdom
Arrivals and Departures. Mole Vanvitelliana, Ancona, Italy
A New Stance For Tomorrow: Part 3. Sketch, London, United Kingdom
Medianation. FotoFest 2010, Houston, USA
7a Bienal do Mercosul. Porto Alegre, Brazil
Jakarta Biennale XIII. Jakarta, Indonesia
Mediterranean. Palazzo Rospigliosi, Rome, Italy
The Little Shop on Hoxton Street. Limoncello, London, United Kingdom
La historia no es más que cosas pequeñas en cierto desorden. Instituto Cervantes, Stockholm, Sweden
Art Unlimited. Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Associates in New York. Phillips de Pury, New York, USA
Bienal Martínez Guerricabeitia. Valencia, Spain
9 Biennale de Lyon. Lyon, France
Exile of the Imaginary. Politics / Aesthetics / Love. Generali Foundation, Vienna, Austria
Nothing Stands Still. New Langton Arts, San Francisco, USA
Mirador 06. O.K. Centrum für Gegenwartkunst, Linz, Austria
Select Fellowships and Awards
California Community Foundation Fellowship, USA
Capacete Residency Program, Brazil
Art Matters, USA
American Center Foundation, USA
Centro de Arte Montehermoso, Spain
Closed Sundays & Bank Holidays