Slap The Gondola! 2010. USA/Germany. Directed by Marie Losier. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Bernard Yenelouis

Marie Losier Just a Million Dreams

November 1–11, 2018 The Museum of Modern Art

French artist Marie Losier is best known for poetic 16mm film portraits of avant-garde musicians and filmmakers that transcend documentary conventions, revealing as much about their subjects as they do about their creator: an image-maker dedicated to analog filmmaking in a digital age, with a boundless urge to create art with others. This mid-career retrospective, featuring work made over the last 15 years, celebrates the recent addition of Losier’s films to the Museum’s collection.

A longtime New York resident, Losier arrived in 1994 to study painting and quickly fell into the orbit of luminaries who would later appear in her pictures: she designed props for Richard Foreman and learned to shoot 16mm with Mike Kuchar at the Millennium Film Workshop (all the while beginning to curate screenings around town). For Losier, these intergenerational connections go hand in hand with an impulse towards cinema’s ability to channel the unfettered spirit of artistic creation and collaboration. Losier’s highly personal body of work, ranging from intimate portraits to rollicking performance films with costumes and sets created by the artist, music videos, and genre-inflected narratives, is unified by her intuitive attention to rhythm and handmade compositions.

Replete with physical comedy reminiscent of silent cinema and gender-bending camp under the star of Jack Smith, Losier’s cinema is, above all, rooted in performance. Each shoot is a live event (or shared experience) in which Losier, handheld Bolex camera in tow, is both participant and creator. The playful costuming and fantastical code-switching coexists with poignant explorations of identity and the body. These themes—most palpable in Losier’s many years filming industrial music pioneer Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and partner Lady Jaye in the making of her prize-winning feature debut—also underlie Losier’s anticipated second feature, Cassandro, the Exotico!, a portrait of the titular lucha libre drag icon, which opens the series in its American premiere.

Organized by Sophie Cavoulacos, Assistant Curator, Department of Film.

The exhibition is supported in part by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation and Steven Tisch, with major contributions from Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), Yuval Brisker Charitable Foundation, The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.

Events

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA's collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA's archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.