Mills College Art Museum, Oakland
Till December 11, 2011

The whole of all the parts as well as the parts of all the parts features multiple video works in a performative installation by Los Angeles-based artist Frances Stark. The exhibition explores the space between text, drawing, PowerPoint, musical score, film, random video chats, animation, installation, and live performance in an eight-part video installation that unfolds one part at a time.

The whole of all the parts as well as the parts of all the parts evokes a cinematic experience in an exhibition; it is not a film, but it is like a film. Orchestrated and directed through the exhibition and space of the gallery, one screen after the other, requires time; upon completion, the gallery is illuminated, revealing another side of the story.

Brazenly emerging from the delusion of her desired metamorphosis, Stark contemplates the impossible fact of being herself at the same time that she is herself. The whole of all the parts as well as the parts of all the parts is indeed still in parts, moving toward a final stage and finale that will take place at Performa in New York in November 2011.

The performative impulse in Stark's work has been evolving in a series of works and performances since her exhibition Torment of Follies (2008) at the Secession, Vienna, where her installation was compared to the musical interpretation of a libretto in opera. Texts drawn from Ferdydurke, the 1937 novel by the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz reappear in Stark's live performance I've Had It! And I've Also Had It! at the Aspen Opera House (2010) which was accompanied by two string trios simultaneously playing Haydn's divertimento Das Echo and Lady Gaga's hit-parade song Telephone played backwards—later revisioned and rearranged in her performance I've had it and a half! at the Hammer Museum, UCLA (2011).

Stark's conception is also about reception—the separation between the artist herself and the form of the work, and the conversation she holds with the audience, return again to herself. In evolving and manifold ways, Stark's work explores the different spaces of language, writing, and working; and of herself, her body, and being an artist in today's world.

Frances Stark is a Los Angeles-based artist and writer with an MFA from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA. She is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California. Solo exhibitions of her work have been presented at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; Portikus, Frankfurt; Secession, Vienna; Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Kunstverein, Munich. Her work has also been shown in the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham; Aspen Art Museum, CO; Tate Modern, London; De Appel, Amsterdam; New Langton Arts, San Francisco; Kunsthalle, Basel; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Institute for Contemporary Art, London. Stark’s exhibition at MCAM coincides with her participation in the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, and, in New York, Performa 11.

Curator, Sandra Percival, is the director of YU, a new contemporary art center in Portland, OR.
This exhibition is supported by the Joan Danforth Art Museum Endowment and the Susan L. Mills Art Gallery Fund.

Related Public Programs

Talk by Frances Stark
Wednesday, December 7, 7pm
Danforth Lecture Hall, Art Building, Mills College
About the Mills College Art Museum (MCAM)
Founded in 1925, The Mills College Art Museum is a forum for exploring art and ideas and a laboratory for contemporary art practices. Through innovative exhibitions, programs, and collections, the museum engages and inspires the intellectual and creative life of the Mills community as well as the diverse audiences of the Bay Area and beyond.

Mills College Art Museum
5000 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94613
Museum Hours:
Tuesday–Sunday, 11am–4pm

Image Credits: Frances Stark, Spotlight Girl (video still), 2011.

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