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Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016

Oct 28, 2016–Feb 5, 2017

Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 focuses on the ways in which artists have dismantled and reassembled the conventions of cinema—screen, projection, darkness—to create new experiences of the moving image. The exhibition will fill the Museum’s 18,000-square-foot fifth-floor Neil Bluhm Family Galleries, and will include a film series in the third-floor Susan and John Hess Family Theater. 

The exhibition’s title refers to the science fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft’s alternate fictional dimension, whose terrain of cities, forests, mountains, and an underworld can be visited only through dreams. Similarly, the spaces in Dreamlands will connect different historical moments of cinematic experimentation, creating a story that unfolds across a series of immersive spaces.

The exhibition will be the most technologically complex project mounted in the Whitney’s new building to date, embracing a wide range of moving image techniques, from hand-painted film to the latest digital technologies. The works on view use color, touch, music, spectacle, light, and darkness to confound expectations, flattening space through animation and abstraction, or heightening the illusion of three dimensions.

Dreamlands spans more than a century of works by American artists and filmmakers, and also includes a small number of works of German cinema and art from the 1920s with a strong relationship to, and influence on, American art and film. Featured are works in installation, drawing, 3-D environments, sculpture, performance, painting, and online space, by Trisha Baga, Ivana Bašić, Frances Bodomo, Dora Budor, Ian Cheng, Bruce Conner, Ben Coonley, Joseph Cornell, Andrea Crespo, François Curlet, Alex Da Corte, Oskar Fischinger, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Huyghe, Alex Israel, Mehdi Belhaj Kacem and Pierre Joseph, Aidan Koch, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Anthony McCall, Josiah McElheny, Syd Mead, Lorna Mills, Jayson Musson, Melik Ohanian, Philippe Parreno, Jenny Perlin, Mathias Poledna, Edwin S. Porter, Oskar Schlemmer, Hito Steyerl, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Stan VanDerBeek, Artie Vierkant, and Jud Yalkut, among others.

Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 is organized by Chrissie Iles, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator.

Explore the Exhibition
Select an Artist

Korakrit Arunanondchai (b. 1986), still from Painting with History in a Room Filled with Men With Funny Names 1, 2013. Video, color, sound; 12:04 min. Collection of the artist
Korakrit Arunanondchai
Trisha Baga (b. 1985), Flatlands, 2010. Video, color, sound; 18 min., with disco ball and 3D glasses. Collection of the artist; courtesy Greene Naftali Gallery, New York © Trisha Baga and Greene Naftali Gallery, New York
Trisha Baga
Jordan Belson (1926—2011), still from Samadhi, 1967. 16mm film, color, sound; 5:10 min. Collection of the artist
Jordan Belson
Frances Bodomo (b. 1988), still from Afronauts, 2014. Video, black-and-white, sound; 13 min. Collection of the artist. 
Frances Bodomo
Adebukola Buki Bodunrin (b. 1983) and Ezra Claytan Daniels (b. 1979), still from Golden Chain, 2016. Video, color, sound; 13:30 min. Collection of the artists
Adebukola Buki Bodunrin and Ezra Claytan Daniels
Robert Breer (1926–2011), still from 70, 1970. 16mm film, color, silent; 4:00 min. Collection of the artist
Robert Breer
Terence Broad (b. 1992), still from Blade Runner – Autoencoded, 2016. Video, color, sound, 117 min. Collection of the artist
Terence Broad
Ben Thorp Brown (b. 1983), still from Drowned World, 2016. Video, color, sound; 9:00 min. Collection of the artist
Ben Thorp Brown
Dora Budor (b. 1984), installation view of Adaptation of an Instrument, (2016) at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2016. Steel, plywood, perforated aluminum, acrylic sheets, vinyl welding screen, vinyl- and urethanecoated laminate flooring, vinyl strip doors with mounting hardware, LEDs, motion-sensitive computer system, hardware, polyurethane foam inserts, hot-rolled steel panels with patina, protective wax, urethane resin, dye, and amphibian props used in the film Magnolia (1999). Collection of the artist; courtesy New Galerie, Paris; image courtesy of the artist © 2016
Dora Budor
Maïa Cybelle Carpenter (b. 1975), still from Sans Titre, 2001. 16mm film, color, silent; 8 min. Collection of the artist
Maïa Cybelle Carpenter
Bruce Conner (1933–2008), Frame enlargement from CROSSROADS, 1976. 35mm film transferred to video, black-and-white, sound; 37 min. Courtesy Conner Family Trust and Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles © Conner Family Trust
Bruce Conner
Screenshot_340
Ben Coonley
Andrea Crespo (b. 1993), still from parabiosis: neurolibidinal induction complex 2.2, 2015. Video, color, sound; 11:12 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee 2016.3 © Andrea Crespo
Andrea Crespo
Alex Da Corte (b. 1980) and Jayson Musson (b. 1977), Easternsports, 2014. Four-channel video, color, sound; 152 min., with four screens, neon, carpet, vinyl composition tile, metal folding chairs, artificial oranges, orange scent, and diffusers. Collection of the artists; courtesy David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, Maccarone Gallery, New York and Los Angeles, and Salon 94, New York © Alex Da Corte; image courtesy the artist and Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania
Alex Da Corte and Jayson Musson
Thomas Demand (b. 1964), still from Rain/Regen, 2008. 35mm film, color, sound; 10:00 min. Collection of the artist
Thomas Demand
Disney Studio Artist, Story Sketch for Fantasia, 1940. Opaque watercolor on paper, sheet: 9 x 12 in. (22.9 x 30.5 cm); image: 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (8.9 x 11.4 cm). Walt Disney Animation Research Library, Glendale, CA  © Disney
Disney Studio Artists
Dyani Douze (b. 1993), and Nontsikelelo Mutiti (b. 1982) still from Pain Revisited, 2015. Video, color, sound; 15:00 min. Collection of the artists
Dyani Douze and Nontsikelelo Mutiti
Bradley Eros (b. 1952), still from Black Hole Cinema, 2016. Film lecture. 16mm film and video, color, sound; 30:00 min. Collection of the artist
Bradley Eros
Kevin Everson (b. 1965), still from Grand Finale, 2015. Video, color, sound; 4:41 min. Collection of the artist
Kevin Everson
Oskar Fischinger (b. 1900–1967), still from Spirals, 1926. 35mm film, black-and-white, silent; 2:42 min. Courtesy Center for Visual Music
Oskar Fischinger
Ja’Tovia Gary (b. 1984), still from An Ecstatic Experience, 2015. Video, color, sound; 6:00 min. Collection of the artist
Ja’Tovia Gary
Ernie Gehr (b. 1943), still from Shift, 1974. 16mm film, color, sound; 9:00 min. Collection of the artist
Ernie Gehr
Sandra Gibson (b. 1968), still from NYC Flower Film, 2003. Super 8 film, color, silent, 5 min., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from George Kaufman 2004.642  © Sandra Gibson. Photograph by Dai Nakamura
Sandra Gibson
Adelita Husni- Bey (b. 1985), still from After the Finish Line, 2015. Video, color, sound; 12:53 min. Collection of the artist; courtesy Galleria Laveronica, Modica
Adelita Husni-Bey
Ken Jacobs (b. 1933), still from Seeking the Monkey King, 2011. Video, color, sound; 39:42 min. Collection of the artist
Ken Jacobs
Lawrence Jordan (b. 1961), still from Carabosse, 1980. 16mm film, color, sound; 5:00 min. Collection of the artist
Lawrence Jordan
Aidan Koch (b. 1988), Untitled, page 7 from Little Angels, 2015. Graphite pencil and opaque watercolor on paper, 11 x 7 in. (27.9 x 17.8 cm). Collection of the artist
Aidan Koch
Lynn Hershman Leeson (b. 1941), Water Woman Evaporating x 3, 2003. Vellum, mirror, ink, celluloid, and plastic, 13 1/2 × 17 1/2 in. (34.3 × 44.5 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York © Lynn Hershman Leeson; image courtesy Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York
Lynn Hershman Leeson
Eric Leiser (b. 1981), still from Anthropic Principle, 2013. 16mm film, color, sound; 4:21min. Transferred to video. Collection of the artist
Eric Leiser
Jeanne Liotta (b.1960), still from Loretta, 2003. 16mm film, color, sound; 4 min. Collection of the artist
Jeanne Liotta
Janis Crystal Lipzin (b. 1945), still from De Luce 2: Architectura, 2013. Super-8mm film, color, sound; 8:30 min. Transferred to video. Collection of the artist
Janis Crystal Lipzin
Jalal Maghout (b. 1987), still from Suleima, 2014. Video, black-and-white and color, sound; 15 min. Collection of the artist
Jalal Maghout
Anthony McCall (b. 1946), Line Describing a Cone, 1973. Installation view depicting the twenty-fourth minute, Musee de Rochechouart, 2007. Photograph by Freddy Le Saux.
 
Anthony McCall
Josiah McElheny (b. 1966), Projection Painting II, 2015. Projection paint on wood, with glass, oak, ink, projector, hardware, and looped film footage transferred to video, black-and-white, silent; 50 x 64 x 9 in. (127 x 162.6 x 22.9 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York
Josiah McElheny
Wyatt Niehaus (b. 1989), still from Body Assembly – White Exteriors, 2014. Video, color, silent; 2:52 min. Collection of the artist
Wyatt Niehaus
Akosua Adoma Owusu (b. 1984), still from Drexciya, 2010. Video, color, sound; 12:00 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee 2014.33 © Courtesy of Akosua Adoma Owusu
Akosua Adoma Owusu
Mathias Poledna (b. 1965), Imitation of Life, 2013. 35mm film, color, sound; 3 min. Courtesy the artist; Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin/New York; Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna; and Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles
Mathias Poledna
Edwin S. Porter (1870–1941), Coney Island at Night, 1905. 16mm film transferred to video, black-and-white, silent; 2:26 min. Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Edwin S. Porter
Raha Raissnia (b. 1968), still from Free Way (Part II), 2005-2008. Hand painted Super-8mm film, sound by Charles Curtis, color; 23 min., transferred to 16mm film for two projectors. Collection of the artist and Miguel Abreu Gallery. 
Raha Raissnia
Luis Recoder (b. 1971), still from Linea, 2002. 16mm film double projection, black-and-white, silent; 18:00 min. Collection of the artist
Luis Recoder
Jennifer Reeves (b. 1971), excerpt from Landfill 16, 2011. 16mm film, color, sound; 9:00 min. Collection of the artist
Jennifer Reeves
Oskar Schlemmer (1888–1943), Das Triadische Ballett [Triadic Ballet], 1970. 35mm film transferred to video, color, sound; 29 min. Courtesy Global Screen, Munich ©1970 Bavaria Atelier for SWR in collaboration with Inter Nationes and RTB
Oskar Schlemmer
Pieter Schoolwerth (b. 1970), Alexandra Lerman (b. 1980), still from Your Vacuum Sucks, 2015. Video, color, sound; 39 min. Collection of the artist
Pieter Schoolwerth and Alexandra Lerman
Kerstin Schroedinger (b. 1978) and Mareike Bernien (b. 1979), still from Rainbow’s Gravity, 2014. 16mm film, color, sound; 32:00 min. Collection of the artists
Kerstin Schroedinger and Mareike Bernien
John Stehura (b. 1942), still from Cibernetik 5.3, 1960-65. 16mm film, color, sound; 8:00 min. Transferred to video. Collection of the artist
John Stehura
Hito Steyerl (b. 1966), Factory of the Sun, 2015. Video, color, sound; 21 min., looped; with environment, dimensions variable. Collection of the artist; courtesy Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York
Hito Steyerl
Nassiem Valamanesh (b. 1949), still from Distant Words, 2011. Video, color, sound; 5 min. Collection of the artist
Nassiem Valamanesh
Stan VanDerBeek (1927–1984), still from Astral Man: An Illuminated Poem, 1959. 16mm film, color, sound; 2:30 min. Collection of the artist
Stan VanDerBeek
Siebren Versteeg (b. 1971), still from SciFi, 2009. Video, color, sound; 3:10 min. Collection of the artist
Siebren Versteeg
Artie Vierkant (b. 1986), still from Exposure Adjustment on a Sunset, 2009. Video, color, silent; 39 min. Collection of the artist
Artie Vierkant
Jennifer West (b. 1966), still from Jam Licking & Sledgehammered Film (70MM Film Leader Covered in Strawberry Jam, Grape Jelly and Orange Marmalade - licked and sledgehammered by Jim Shaw, Marnie Weber, Mariah Csepanyi, Bill Parks, Alex Johns, Karen Liebowitz, Roxana Eslamieh, Chaney Trotter & Jwest- a filmic restaging of moments from Allan Kaprxw’s ‘Household’), 2008. 70mm film leader, color, silent, 3:03 min., transferred to digital video. Collection of the artist
Jennifer West
Andrew Norman Wilson (b. 1983), still from Ode to Seekers 2012, 2016. HD video, color, sound; 8:30 min. Collection of the artist
Andrew Norman Wilson
Saya Woolfalk (b. 1979), still from Life Products by ChimaTEK, 2014. Video, color, sound; 3:15 min. Copyright of the artist; courtesy of Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York
Saya Woolfalk
Jud Yalkut (1938–2013), Destruct Film, 1967. 16mm film, color, silent; 16mm film projector; film looper; two 35mm color slides; two slide projectors; two motorized beam-splitter mirrors; and loose film prints. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Film and Video Committee 2002.92
Jud Yalkut
Anna Zett (b. 1983), still from This Unwieldy Object, 2014. Video, color, sound; 47:00 min. Collection of the artist 
Anna Zett

Installation Photography

Installation view of Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Installation view of Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Installation view of Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Installation view of Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Installation view of Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Installation view of Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Installation view of Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Installation view of Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Installation view of Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Installation view of Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Installation view of Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Installation view of Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 28, 2016–February 5, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz
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360 Videos

These 360 videos offer a new way to explore Dreamlands. Use your mouse or move your Android phone to look around three of the exhibition’s immersive spaces. If you're on an iPhone, watch directly in the YouTube app. You can also use a VR headset.

This screening series, part of the exhibition Dreamlands, highlights a range of cinematic approaches from optical abstraction to science fiction.

Disney Studio Artist, Story Sketch for Fantasia, 1940. Opaque watercolor on paper, sheet: 9 x 12 in. (22.9 x 30.5 cm); image: 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (8.9 x 11.4 cm). Walt Disney Animation Research Library, Glendale, CA  © Disney
Dreamlands: Film & Video Screenings
1 PM
Jennifer Reeves (b. 1977), still from Landfill 16, 2011. 16mm film, color, sound, 9 min.
Dreamlands: Film & Video Screenings
3 PM
After Oskar Schlemmer (1888–1943), still from Das Triadische Ballett [Triadic Ballet], 1970, 35mm film transferred to video, color, sound; 29 min. Courtesy Global Screen, Munich Produced by Bavaria Atelier for the Südfunk, Stuttgart, in collaboration with Inter Nationes and RTB (Belgian Television) Director: Helmut Amann Choreography and costume designs: Oskar Schlemmer, 1922 Artistic advisors: Ludwig Grote, Xanti Schwinsky, and Tut Schlemmer ©1970 Bavaria Atelier for SWR in collaboration with Inter Nationes and RTB
Public Programs
3–5 PM
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Offsite—Dreamlands: Expanded

Dreamlands: Expanded is a series of expanded cinema events organized by Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn in collaboration with the Museum as part of Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1906–2016

Related Events

Disney Studio Artist, Story Sketch for Fantasia, 1940. Opaque watercolor on paper, sheet: 9 x 12 in. (22.9 x 30.5 cm); image: 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (8.9 x 11.4 cm). Walt Disney Animation Research Library, Glendale, CA  © Disney
Dreamlands: Film & Video Screenings
1 PM
Jennifer Reeves (b. 1977), still from Landfill 16, 2011. 16mm film, color, sound, 9 min.
Dreamlands: Film & Video Screenings
3 PM
Alex Da Corte (b. 1980) with Jayson Musson (b. 1977), still from Easternsports,  2014. Four-channel video, color, sound; 152 min., with four screens,  neon, carpet, vinyl composition tile, metal folding chairs, artificial  oranges, orange scent, and diffusers. Score by Devonté Hynes. Collection  of the artists; courtesy David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, Maccarone  Gallery, New York and Los Angeles, and Salon 94, New York. © Alex Da  Corte; image courtesy the artist
Free Tours
3 PM
Alex Da Corte (b. 1980) with Jayson Musson (b. 1977), still from Easternsports,  2014. Four-channel video, color, sound; 152 min., with four screens,  neon, carpet, vinyl composition tile, metal folding chairs, artificial  oranges, orange scent, and diffusers. Score by Devonté Hynes. Collection  of the artists; courtesy David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, Maccarone  Gallery, New York and Los Angeles, and Salon 94, New York. © Alex Da  Corte; image courtesy the artist
Free Tours
3 PM
Alex Da Corte (b. 1980) with Jayson Musson (b. 1977), still from Easternsports,  2014. Four-channel video, color, sound; 152 min., with four screens,  neon, carpet, vinyl composition tile, metal folding chairs, artificial  oranges, orange scent, and diffusers. Score by Devonté Hynes. Collection  of the artists; courtesy David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen, Maccarone  Gallery, New York and Los Angeles, and Salon 94, New York. © Alex Da  Corte; image courtesy the artist
Free Tours
3 PM
Bruce Conner (1933–2008). Frame enlargement from CROSSROADS, 1976. 35mm film transferred to video, black-and-white, sound; 37 min. Courtesy Conner Family Trust and Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles © Conner Family Trust
Member Events: Patron, Circle, Fellow, and Sponsor members
6:45–7:45 PM
Bruce Conner (1933–2008). Frame enlargement from CROSSROADS, 1976. 35mm film transferred to video, black-and-white, sound; 37 min. Courtesy Conner Family Trust and Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles © Conner Family Trust
Member Events: Patron, Circle, Fellow, and Sponsor members
7–8 PM
Bruce Conner (1933–2008). Frame enlargement from CROSSROADS, 1976. 35mm film transferred to video, black-and-white, sound; 37 min. Courtesy Conner Family Trust and Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles © Conner Family Trust
Member Events: Patron, Circle, Fellow, and Sponsor members
7:15–8:15 PM
Andrea Crespo (b. 1993). Still from parabiosis: neurolibidinal induction complex 2.2, 2015. Video, color, sound; 11:12 min. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Film, Video, and New Media Committee 2016.3. © Andrea Crespo
Member Events: Contemporaries and Contemporaries Patron members
8 PM
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Exhibition Catalogue

This generously illustrated publication surveys the work of filmmakers and artists who have pushed the material and conceptual boundaries of cinema through explorations of how technology transforms experience. The essays published here offer an intensive look at the themes of cinematic space, formats of the screen, animation and CGI, the body and the cyborg, and the materiality of film. Contributors place particular emphasis on the idea of the cinema as a sensorium and on the ways in which it defines the human body, both through representation and in relation to the projected image.

An essay by Chrissie Iles titled “The Cyborg and the Sensorium” is available to read below. The catalogue also includes essays by Karen Archey, Giuliana Bruno, John Canemaker, Brian Droitcour, Noam M. Elcott, Tom Gunning, J. Hoberman, Esther Leslie, and David Lewis.

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