The Cultural Cartographies Series begins in the Utah desert with Melik Ohanian's 2003 film, "Welcome to Hanksville," that will be on exhibit from Friday, May 16, until Saturday, June 28, at the New Genres Gallery of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City.
The museum is located at 20 S. West Temple. Admission is a $5 suggested donation.
"Welcome to Hanksville" examines a congregation pseudo-scientist on Aug. 27, 2003, during the cosmological opposition of Mars to the Earth.
The desert, reminiscent of the vacant landscape on Mars, is transformed into a pseudo unknown territory waiting to be explored.
Ohanian's film is a slow investigation of both an actual place and the potential of this site extending into time, space, and imagination.
Born in 1969 in Lyon, France, Melik Ohanian lives and works in Paris and New York. Using a range of media, including video, sound, installation, photography and text,
Ohanian explores the implications of the multiple and the common. His practice exemplifies a paradigm shift from temporal narratives to a spatial understanding of the world, allowing for unlikely constellations of individuals, places and events to visibly coalesce within his works around a given point in time.
The filmmaker and artist has had numerous solo exhibitions including "In the Desert of Images," at the Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai, India, "Concrete Tears," "3451," "Musée" at National Picasso in Vallauris, France, "DAYS," "I See what I Saw and what I will See" at the Galerie Chantal Crousel in Paris, France, and "Peripherical Communities," at the Rich Mix in London.
In addition, Ohanian's work has been included many group exhibitions such as "Honey I rearranged the collection" and "Passage de Retz" in Paris, France, "In spite of it all," at the Sharjah Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates, and "El Agua de Niebla" for FIAC in Jardin des Tuileries, Paris, France.
Focusing on still image or filmmaking as a primary medium, this series explores how varied manifestations of political, environmental, urban, and utopian interventions inform a more contemporary way of thinking about the entanglement of history and geography.
Through this form of investigation, Cultural Cartographies reveals how artists negotiate understandings of space and place, using technologies of vision, that shape social and natural environments.
Founded in 1931, the award-winning Utah Museum of Contemporary Art's purpose is to give Utah residents and visitors access to international, national, regional, and local art that is relevant to our time.
The museum offers rotating exhibitions in four gallery spaces, youth and adult education, as well as community outreach, an Artist-in-Residence program, and a variety of public programs to cultivate awareness of concepts found in contemporary art. UMOCA is a 501c3 institution that is supported by public, foundation, and corporate gifts.
UMOCA has been recognized as Best Museum in the State of Utah for 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 as well as a four-time recipient of funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation.
For more information, visit www.umoca.org.