Lili Reynaud Dewar: Interpretation / Kunsthalle Basel

The centerpiece of the French artist Lili Reynaud Dewar’s solo exhibition titled Interpretation at the Kunsthalle Basel is a large geometric wood-and-mirror structure, incorporating sound and video. The video shows Lili Reynaud Dewar’s mother, Mireille Rias, dressed in a costume in the style of the African-American musician Sun Ra and seated on a throne-like chair covered with African fabrics. Mireille Rias speaks about a Sun Ra concert she attended in Saint-Papul de Vence in August 3, 1970, as she listens to the recordings some forty years later.

“If the video represents her personal experience of Sun Ra’s work, it also depicts the concert in relation to the socio-cultural context of that time, when ideas in music and art were invested with revolutionary meaning and “Free Jazz!” was a call for social change. In a new series of drawings, Lili Reynaud Dewar used pencil to copy the original texts from Sun Ra’s pamphlets onto sheets of grey cardboard. Monumental in their appearance, the drawings do not imitate the auratic quality of Sun Ra’s typewritten A4 originals. The historical text becomes a concrete message, instead of being presented merely as an archival document.” (Excerpt from the exhibition text).

Lili Reynaud Dewar’s exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel includes original texts and music by Sun Ra. It has been developed with Mathieu Bernard (costume design), Sam Supa-Sonic (sound system) and Mireille Rias (story).

Lili Reynaud Dewar was born in La Rochelle in 1975 and currently lives and works in Paris. She studied at the Ecole Régionale des Beaux Arts de Nantes, France and received a Masters degree from Glasgow School of Art. Solo exhibitions include: 2010 Frac Champagne Ardennes, Reims; Interpretation, 1m3, Lausanne; 2009 Power Structures, Rituals & Sexuality of the European Shorthand-Typists, Mary Mary, Glasgow; Black Mariah, Centre d’art Parc Saint-Leger, Pouges les Eaux; 2008 IAO, Explorations in French psychedelia, CAPC, Bordeaux; LOVE = U.F.O, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, FRAC, Bordeaux; The Race, Galleria Civica d’Arte Contemporanea di Siracusa, Montevergini.

Lili Reynaud Dewar: Interpretation / Kunsthalle Basel. Opening reception, April 17, 2010.

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