Beyond the Reel

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On Thursday, June 19, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden opens the second installment of The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality, and the Moving Image, titled Part II: Realisms. While Part I: Dreams addressed film’s ability to transport viewers out of their everyday lives and into the darker recesses of the imagination, Realisms explores the irony that in an age where documenting “real life” is made ever easier, the line between fact and fiction becomes increasingly complicated.

Pierre Huyghe (Season 4) is one of nineteen artists in Realisms. In his work, “The Third Memory” (1999), Huyghe gives John Wojtowicz, the bank robber portrayed by Al Pacino in Sidney Lumet’s 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon, a chance to recount his version of the events that inspired the film. Huyghe’s work reveals that, as time goes on, Wojtowicz’s memory of the actual robbery has become intertwined with the story as portrayed in Lumet’s film. Part I: Dreams also included Art21 artists Teresa Hubbard/Alexander Birchler (Season 3). Recently they spoke about their process, artwork, and part one of the exhibition in the museum’s public program series, Meet the Artists, which exists as a podcast.

Part II: Realisms, on view through September 7, also includes works by Candice Breitz, Matthew Buckingham, Paul Chan, Ian Charlesworth, Phil Collins, Jeremy Deller, Kota Ezawa, Omer Fast, Runa Islam, Christian Jankowski, Isaac Julien, Michèle Magema, Julian Rosefeldt, Corinna Schnitt, Mungo Thomson, Kerry Tribe, Francesco Vezzoli and Artur Zmijewski.

Image: Pierre Huyghe “The Third Memory,” video still 1999 © Pierre Huyghe, courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris/New York.


  1. Pingback: Reality or Fiction at the Hirshorn? | Art21 Blog

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