Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016
Oct 28, 2016–Feb 5, 2017

Dreamlands
Screenings and Programs

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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.

Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 is sponsored by Audi.

Major support is provided by the Dalio Foundation, The Rosenkranz Foundation and the National Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Significant support is provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. 

Generous support is provided by Alexandre and Lori Chemla, George and Mariana Kaufman, the Orentreich Family Foundation, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Additional support is provided by Susan and Matthew Blank. 


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1

Korakrit Arunanondchai

Two persons opening their arms on a beach.

Korakrit Arunanondchai

2

Trisha Baga

Trisha Baga

3

Ivana Bašić

Ivana Bašić

4

Jordan Belson

Jordan Belson

5

Frances Bodomo

Frances Bodomo

6

Adebukola Buki Bodunrin and Ezra Claytan Daniels

Adebukola Buki Bodunrin and Ezra Claytan Daniels

7

Robert Breer

Robert Breer

8

Terence Broad

Terence Broad

9

Ben Thorp Brown

Ben Thorp Brown

10

Dora Budor

Dora Budor

11

Maïa Cybelle Carpenter

Maïa Cybelle Carpenter

12

Ian Cheng

A screen panel leaning against a wall.

Ian Cheng

13

Bruce Conner

Bruce Conner

14

Jacky Connolly

Jacky Connolly

15

Ben Coonley

Ben Coonley

16

Joseph Cornell

Joseph Cornell

17

Andrea Crespo

Andrea Crespo

18

François Curlet

François Curlet

19

Keren Cytter

Keren Cytter

20

Alex Da Corte and Jayson Musson

An neon and video installation by Alex Da Corte and Jayson Musson. Neon lighs in bright orange, red and purple stretch the length of a wall; a projected image is visible

Alex Da Corte and Jayson Musson

21

Thomas Demand

Thomas Demand

22

Disney Studio Artists

A watercolor sketch from the film Fantasia. Brooms carry buckets of water across the frame

Disney Studio Artists

23

Dyani Douze and Nontsikelelo Mutiti

Dyani Douze and Nontsikelelo Mutiti

24

Bradley Eros

Bradley Eros

25

Kevin Everson

Kevin Everson

26

Oskar Fischinger

Oskar Fischinger

27

Morgan Fisher

Morgan Fisher

28

Ja'Tovia Gary

Ja'Tovia Gary

29

Ernie Gehr

Ernie Gehr

30

Sandra Gibson

Sandra Gibson

31

Liam Gillick

Liam Gillick

32

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster

33

Adelita Husni-Bey

Adelita Husni-Bey

34

Pierre Huyghe

Pierre Huyghe

35

Alex Israel

Alex Israel

36

Ken Jacobs

Ken Jacobs

37

Lawrence Jordan

Lawrence Jordan

38

Pierre Joseph and Mehdi Belhaj-Kacem

Pierre Joseph and Mehdi Belhaj-Kacem

39

Aidan Koch

Aidan Koch

40

Lynn Hershman Leeson

Lynn Hershman Leeson

41

Eric Leiser

Eric Leiser

42

Jeanne Liotta

Jeanne Liotta

43

Janis Crystal Lipzin

Janis Crystal Lipzin

44

Jalal Maghout

Jalal Maghout

45

Anthony McCall

Anthony McCall

46

Josiah McElheny

Josiah McElheny

47

Sam McKinniss

Sam McKinniss

48

Syd Mead

Syd Mead

49

Lorna Mills

Lorna Mills

50

Wyatt Niehaus

Wyatt Niehaus

51

Melik Ohanian

Melik Ohanian

52

Akosua Adoma Owusu

Akosua Adoma Owusu

53

Philippe Parreno

Philippe Parreno

54

Jenny Perlin

Jenny Perlin

55

Mathias Poledna

Mathias Poledna

56

Edwin S. Porter

Edwin S. Porter

57

Raha Raissnia

Raha Raissnia

58

Luis Recoder

Luis Recoder

59

Jennifer Reeves

Jennifer Reeves

60

Oskar Schlemmer

Oskar Schlemmer

61

Pieter Schoolwerth and Alexandra Lerman

Pieter Schoolwerth and Alexandra Lerman

62

Kerstin Schroedinger and Mareike Bernien

Kerstin Schroedinger and Mareike Bernien

63

Lily Jue Sheng and Antonia Kuo

Lily Jue Sheng and Antonia Kuo

64

John Stehura

John Stehura

65

Hito Steyerl

A work by Hito Steyerl. Visitors sit and recline in lawn chairs viewing a screen

Hito Steyerl

66

Rirkrit Tiravanija

Rirkrit Tiravanija

67

Nassiem Valamanesh

Nassiem Valamanesh

68

Stan VanDerBeek

Stan VanDerBeek

69

Siebren Versteeg

Siebren Versteeg

70

Artie Vierkant

Artie Vierkant

71

Jennifer West

Jennifer West

72

Andrew Norman Wilson

Andrew Norman Wilson

73

Saya Woolfalk

Saya Woolfalk

74

Jud Yalkut

Jud Yalkut

75

Coco Young

Coco Young

76

Anna Zett

Anna Zett

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Installation Photography


Dreamlands
screenings and programs


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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In the News

"Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 . . . looks at the incredible ways that artists have manipulated and re-imagined the moving image."
Paper Magazine

"Evolving Images."
The New York Times

"As the line between artist and filmmaker becomes ever less distinct and new technologies ever more accessible, a show devoted to artist’s films seems not only timely but overdue."
ARTnews

"From hand-painted films to a 3-D video projected inside a dome, the Whitney delivers a multisite high-tech exhibition."
Vulture

"Visitors will have a chance to consider how these artists played with color, touch, music, light and darkness, animation and two versus three dimensions."
Newsday

"Dreamlands . . . 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."
The Jewish Voice

"[Dreamlands] is informative, filled with diverse pleasures, rewards hours of viewing time and reflects a commitment to film in all of its forms maintained by no other New York museum."
The New York Times


". . . an exhibition of expanded cinema, including installations, environments and drawings by Oskar Schlemmer, Stan Vanderbeek, Pierre Huyghe and Hito Steyerl."
The New York Times

"Dreamlands traces this experimental history to the present day, in all its dazzlingly optical, spatially immersive glory."
The Wall Street Journal

"The Whitney’s Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016 should venture into new territory, spanning over a century and encompassing both commercial and avant-garde endeavors in film . . .."
The New York Times

"Highlighting the advances, both stylistic and technologic, in cinema during the last century, the exhibit will feature animation, 3-D visuals, and installations that use real-time data feeds from the internet."
NY Press

"Beyond making people question the materiality and ephemerality of the filmic image and the cinema apparatus, Burchill and Monti’s series will ideally provoke visual and sensory immersion."
The Creator's Project

"The Moving Image Reimagined in Immersive Exhibit Dreamlands."
Flavorwire


“Feelings are Facts: A Neuro-Cinema at the Whitney Museum”
Art Zealous

"Laid out in a gentle maze of hallways, rooms and open spaces, the show itself has a dreamlike feel, inviting exploration and discovery."
The Wall Street Journal

"It’s about the expansive possibilities of the digital age, the new ways the motion picture...can be an immersive, multidimensional experience, perceptually, physically and conceptually."
The New York Times

"The works in the program feature the study of complete darkness experienced through the retinas and our body. It also explores the materiality and ephemerality of the filmic image and the cinematic apparatus."
Blouin Art Info

"The way over the last century artists have dismantled and rebuilt the concept of cinema, creating through screens, projections and darkrooms, new space-time worlds."
Vogue (Italy)

"The exhibition connects different historical moments of cinematic experimentation via video installation, sculpture and 360-degree camera projected against a cardboard geodesic dome."
Fader

"Dreamlands at the Whitney Museum: Between Illusion and Reality"
The Wall Street Journal

Interview with exhibition curator Chrissie Iles
Mousse Magazine