August 21 – October 28, 2017
USF Contemporary Art Museum

USF Contemporary Art Museum (USFCAM) presents a solo exhibition of video installations and drawings by Belgian artist David Claerbout. Throughout his career, Claerbout has investigated the conceptual impact of the passage of time through his use of video and digital photography.
David Claerbout
David Claerbout, Oil workers (from the Shell company of Nigeria) returning home from work, caught in torrential rain, 2013
single channel video projection, HD animation, color, silent
© David Claerbout
Courtesy of the artist and Sean Kelly, New York
(video installation on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/92601741)
As scholar David Green has explained, “Claerbout’s work subtly proposes a relationship of similitude between film and the objective world that lies outside and beyond the narrative space of cinema. In doing so he poses a set of questions about how we experience film and about the nature of the medium itself.”
Specifically, Claerbout manipulates both moving and still imagery to suggest an otherworldly level of existence, something that might refer to a specific place or event, but the timeline of which is not clear, oscillating between both past and present. The element of sound is critical in many of the works, often used as either a narrative device or a “guide” for the viewer to navigate the architectural space in the film.
Claerbout’s oeuvre is characterized by a meticulous attention to production details, painstakingly created often over a period of years. The resultant works are immersive environments in which the viewer is invited to engage both philosophically and aesthetically.
David Claerbout is curated by Margaret Miller; organized by USFCAM.
For more information, please visit the artist’s website.
Further reading, The Silence of the Lens by David Claerbout, e-flux Journal #73 – May 2016.
Claerbout studied at the Nationaal Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp from 1992 to 1995 and participated in the DAAD: Berlin Artists-in-Residence program from 2002 to 2003. Claerbout’s work is included in major public collections worldwide, including: Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and many others. He has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions internationally, including: Kunsthalle Mainz, Mainz, Germany (2013); Secession, Vienna, Austria (2012); Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel (2012); SFMOMA, San Francisco (2011); WIELS, Brussels, Belgium (2011); Museum De Pont, Tilburg, The Netherlands (2009); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2007); Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen, Switzerland (2008); and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2005). David Claerbout lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium and Berlin, Germany.
Friday August 25
6pm, USF School of Music Concert Hall
NY-based critic Christian Viveros-Fauné will speak on the work of artist David Claerbout celebrating CAM’s fall exhibition David Claerbout. American Sign Language Interpreters will be available at this event.
7–9PM, USF Contemporary Art Museum
Thursday, September 14
6–8pm, USF School of Music Barness Recital Hall
Watch the Trailer on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/167787802/
Join us for a free screening of this French New Wave masterpiece. USFCAM Director Margaret Miller will lead a discussion with USF faculty about the film and its pertinence to the David Claerbout exhibition, including a short introductory presentation and a post film conversation in the lobby with refreshments.
Thursday, October 5
6–8pm, USF Contemporary Art Museum
Thursday, October 12
12pm, USF Contemporary Art Museum
Thursday, October 26
6–8pm, USF Contemporary Art Museum
Photography students in the USF School of Art and Art History will respond in various ways to the David Claerbout exhibition.
USF Contemporary Art Museum (USFCAM) organizes and presents significant and investigative exhibitions of contemporary art from Florida, the United States and around the world. Serving as a teaching laboratory, USFCAM’s curatorial and socially engaged initiatives and educational programs are designed to present the students, faculty, and community with current issues of contemporary art practice, and to explore the role of the arts in society. USFCAM publishes relevant catalogues, presents critically recognized traveling exhibitions and commissions new projects by national and international artists. USFCAM maintains the university’s art collection, comprising more than 5000 contemporary art works.
USFCAM Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am-8pm, Sat 1-4pm. Closed Sunday and University holidays
Admission to the Museum is free; however a USF parking permit ($5.00 daily) or pay-per-space parking is required. Please visit our website cam.usf.edu <http://cam.usf.edu/> for parking, directions, or more information on events associated with the exhibitions. Groups and organizations interested in tours should contact USFCAM to schedule at least two weeks in advance. Call (813) 974-4133 for additional information.
CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM | Institute for Research in Art
4202 East Fowler Avenue CAM 101
Tampa, Florida 33620

The Farther South You Go the Further North You Are

What does it mean to be Floridian and how would this manifest itself in art? It’s only in recent years that St. Petersburg, for example, has been able to shed the rep as “God’s waiting room”. The one shared aspect of an identity for many was (how to say this nicely?) a proximity to expiration. This didn’t exactly translate into a collective artistic identity (and God help us if it did).

by Danny Olda

“The farther South you go the further North you are” – a sentiment you’ve probably heard referring to the geography and soul of Florida. While reading a recent issue of the Southern lit mag, Oxford American, I noticed scant mention of Florida, the Southernmost of the contiguous forty-eight. Apparently it takes more than South to be Southern – something Florida hasn’t got. Not that Florida pines to be Southern all that much anyhow.

If not Southern, though, what does it mean to be Floridian and how would this manifest itself in art? It’s only in recent years that St. Petersburg, for example, has been able to shed the rep as “God’s waiting room”. The one shared aspect of an identity for many was (how to say this nicely?) a proximity to expiration. This didn’t exactly translate into a collective artistic identity (and God help us if it did).

WPA kids
WPA: FAP: kids involved in painting and sculptures based upon spirituals: Jacksonville, Florida, Extension Art Gallery

Think of American art history in terms of region: The “Cool School” of Southern California, The New York School, Taos, New Mexico, and so on. Did our contemporary tradition come into existence by way of immaculate conception? Where is our old school?

At this point the Highwaymen likely come to mind. The group of artists known as the Highwaymen is, of course, distinctly Floridian. I’m not going to hate on the group – though their work doesn’t exactly suit my taste, their story and conditions they worked under is fascinating. The history of Florida’s Highwaymen says a lot about race relations, art world economics, class concerns, and so on. However, I’d sooner regard the group as a cultural phenomenon than a cultural heritage. The group began, was exclusive, and ended with nary a tie to Florida’s current contemporary art scene.

Highwaymen Artist Group
Mary Ann Carroll - Highwaymen Artist
To be clear, however, what it means to be Floridian is not the bothersome part. What’s bothersome is the seeming absence of any distinctly Floridian artistic identity. It has taken most of my mental fortitude to avoid the nagging feeling that Florida is America’s identity miscellany file. Think of a record shop, for instance. Vinyl records are separated into a jazz section, rock, R & B. Then there is us: the three for a dollar section. Not that Florida is worth less. Rather, in our section one just has a better chance of finding Marching Band Classics beside The Best of Styx. I hate to say “the one thing we have in common is we’re all different”. It sounds like a meaningless hippy maxim but in this case it may be true or at least all we’ve got.

In his novel Citrus County, Author John Brandon describes Florida, and by extension Florida’s art community, accurately. Florida is a seriously wild state. Otters poke their heads out of sewers while alligators are constantly found in pools. It feels like the forests are waiting for the cities to turn their backs in order to reclaim what’s theirs. Our Sunshine State only has the appearance of being settled; Florida is a state of perpetual struggle. Not only naturally, but sociologically, politically, religiously, financially, and, of course, artistically.

I understand this could sound disparaging. However, isn’t art dialectic, the parade of ideas down through art history, only a centuries long magnificent argument? Maybe in this way, through struggles of all sorts, our peculiarly Floridian identity is a moving target – not so much the sum of our parts as the difference of our differences.

Though Florida may not be included among them, New York, California, Paris, and the rest should be proud of their monolith of an artistic heritage. And even if the South would have us, likely we’d politely excuse ourselves anyhow. I like to think that Pascal’s words are peculiarly Floridian, that “The struggle alone pleases us.”

Danny Olda is our Tampa Correspondent and publisher of
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