Althea Thauberger
Preuzmimo Benčić, 2014
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
22.10.14 – 05.02.15

*presented every hour, on the hour

The cast of Preuzmimo Benčić counts over fifty children between the ages of six and thirteen, residents of the post-industrial Croatian port city of Rijeka. The film activates the history and planned transformation of the now-abandoned Benčić industrial complex that has served as a sugar refinery, an armoury, and tobacco and machine parts factories over its three-hundred-year history. Designated as a redevelopment site for “creative industries,” the project is to include the local art museum, library and creative startups, and a hotel. However, the projects have as yet been unrealized and are widely believed to have been mismanaged. In Thauberger’s film the “artists,” the former workers who have been permitted to temporarily re-occupy the complex with the immaterial production of gestures, dance, video, music, and writing, debate with the “mayors” who discuss their own plans for the site.

Conceived with the children who occupied the complex for a five-week period, Preuzmimo Benčić, reflects Thauberger’s working method, which consistently involves close collaboration with a group or community and results in provocative reflections of social, political, institutional and aesthetic power relations. Although grounded in the highly complex political and economic reality in Croatia, the film also evokes the recurring recourse to culture as a means of stimulating investment in disenfranchised neighbourhoods, and is embedded with the constant tension between late capitalism and socialism.
– LJ

Stills from Preuzmimo Benčić, 2013-2014, digital film, 57:14 minutes (courtesy of the artist, Musagetes and Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto; photo; Milica Czerny Urban)
Stills from Preuzmimo Benčić, 2013-2014, digital film, 57:14 minutes (courtesy of the artist, Musagetes and Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto; photo; Milica Czerny Urban)
Biography

Born in 1970 in Saskatoon, Althea Thauberger is based in Vancouver.  Her internationally produced and exhibited work typically involves interactions with a group or community that result in performances, films, videos, audio recordings and books, and involve sometimes provocative reflections of social, political, institutional and aesthetic power relations. 

Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions in Vancouver, Utrecht and at The Power Plant, Toronto, and in group shows in Sydney, New York and at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Thauberger received the 2011 VIVA Award and was shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award in 2005. She is represented by Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto.

susanhobbs.com/artist/30059278-althea-thauberger

Videos
Panel - Edgar Arceneaux, Isabelle Hayeur, Étienne Tremblay-Tardif, Althea Thauberger

BNLMTL 2014: “L’avenir (looking forward)”
22/10/14 – 04/01/15

McCord Museum