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Filmmaking in spotlight in new exhibitions at I space gallery

Melissa Mitchell, U. of I. News Bureau arts writer

Mary Antonakos, I space coordinator 312-587-9976

Released 5/10/2007

Pomonis art
Click photo to enlarge
Mary Anna Pomonis
The Magic Hour, detail, acrylic on paper 3" x 3", 2007
Held art
Oliver Held
Building, stills from video, 2007

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The art of filmmaking will be featured directly and indirectly in two new exhibitions opening May 11 at I space, the Chicago gallery of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

• “The Magic Hour,” an installation by U. of I. alumna and Los Angeles-based artist Mary Anna Pomonis, is inspired by the time of day in Los Angeles prized by filmmakers for its light quality: sunset. Pomonis re-creates that pre-dusk mood and ambiance in her installation, which features hundreds of tiny paintings of sunsets paired with several small children’s wading pools, filled with sand, on the gallery floor.

• “Oliver Held: Frameworks” features three videos by the Cologne, Germany-based filmmaker, video and installation artist. Held’s work has been exhibited widely in Europe, as well as at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the 19th International Children’s Film Festival in Chicago, where it received the Certificate of Excellence.

The films on view at I space explore events, time, memory and the layering that happen in between. Among them is “Gone,” in which Held re-creates a scene in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film “Blowup,” in which the photographer returns to a scene to photograph a dead body, only to discover it is missing. In Held’s re-creation, the manic search for the body is expanded on screen, as he presents what happened in between Antonioni’s selection of edited shots.

An opening reception is to take place from 5-7 p.m. on May 11 at the gallery, 230 W. Superior St., Chicago. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The Magic Hour” closes June 9; “Oliver Held: Frameworks, on July 7.