Sarah Morris
Clips, Knots, and 1972
4 - 26 SEPTEMBER, 2010
Sarah Morris
Clips, Knots, and 1972
September 4th – September 26th, 2010

Opening Reception: 6:00pm, September 4th, 2010

Gallery Hyundai is please to announce “Clips, Knots and 1972” an exhibition of new works by Sarah Morris.

Sarah Morris is an internationally recognized painter and filmmaker, known for her complex abstractions, which play with architecture and the psychology of urban environments. Morris views both her paintings and films as parallel - both trace urban, social and bureaucratic topologies. In both these media, she explores the psychology of the contemporary city and its architecturally encoded politics. Morris assesses what today’s urban structures, bureaucracies, cities and nations might conceal and surveys how a particular moment can be inscribed and embedded into its visual surfaces. Often, these non-narrative fictional analyses result in studies of conspiratorial power, structures of control, and the mapping of global socio-political networks.

In this exhibition, Morris will be exhibiting her most recent series of paintings, “Knots” and “Clips”. Forms reminiscent of knots or paper clips intertwine. These simple binding structures suggest a transition from enduring utility to contingent organization or text, data and copied material. Morris’s paintings create a form that is continuously splintering and self-generating, and without resolution, creating after-images of capitalism and pre-images of new systems of control. Morris’s project, which spans both painting and film, creates a new level of discourse - playing simultaneously architecture, industrial design, entertainment, commerce and politics. Morris portrays, with beguiling perfection, bureaucratic structures of control and networks and the attempt to mask their own power. The infiltration and use of these mainstream forms and the creation of systems of interpretation that are ambivalent and even possibly contradictory is achieved by engaging and investigating moments of failure toward its use and avoidance.

The exhibition will also feature Morris’s seventh film, 1972. This is the second time (since Robert Towne, 2005) that Morris decided to shift her lens from the wide panoramic view of a city to an intimate portrait of an individual citizen of that city. Dr. Georg Sieber was the head psychologist of the Olympic Police and the Munich Police in 1972 and present on Connolly Street on the tragic morning of September 5th, 1972 when members of the terror group Black September attacked and took hostage of the visiting members of the Israeli Olympic Team. Later that morning he resigned from his position. Sieber was hired by the International Olympic Committee and Munich Police to project possible scenarios that would jeopardize the safety of the Olympic Games and prepare the security training that they would require. One of the scenarios written by Sieber, Scenario #26, was an almost exact prognosis of what was to fatefully play out in reality.

Contrary to the common perception that the Germans were not prepared, Sieber exposes a very different analysis of what occurred that day. Continuing her investigation of the concept of the ‘peripheral’ character, it becomes clear that Sieber had proposed an alternative method of navigating the situation that could have led to a different outcome. In 1972, Morris mixes police surveillance footage of demonstrators and archival photographs of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games, with shots of the impressive Munich Olympiapark and a candid interview of Sieber who has a long-standing career as a psychologist and is an expert on international security matters. The Munich Games of the XX Summer Olympiad in 1972 were intended to present a new, democratic and optimistic image of Germany to the world, as demonstrated by the official motto, "the Happy Games," as well as Behnisch’s and Otl Aicher’s utopian and colorful design.

The unfolding of this contradictory moment, represented in the Games of 1972, is one of the most important and televised political events in contemporary history. The media coverage of the failure of 1972 brought terrorism to the world stage and significantly altered its role in relation to the media and the cinematic moment. Morris’s film, shot on 35mm, investigates the issue of projection and planning and its potential failures through this specific instance in history. It exposes a subjective parallel view radically different than the widely received ideas around the events of the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Morris lives and works in New York and London. She received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painting Award in 2001, and in 1999-2000 was an American Academy Award, Berlin Prize Fellow. Morris recently has had two extensive solo exhibitions in Europe at the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt and Museo d’Arte Moderna, Bologna, where they co-produced the publication “Beijing” along with Witte de With, Rotterdam. She has widely exhibited internationally, with solo exhibitions including Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel (2008), the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2006), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2005), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005), Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (2005), Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen (2004), Miami MOCA (2002), Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. (2002), and Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2001). She will realize two permanent site-specific artworks in 2010 at the Gateway School of Science in Queens with the architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed and Partners and “Hornet” at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen Museum in Düsseldorf, Germany, which opened July 2010.