We received the beautiful DVD/Book of 'A Road not Taken', the film by Swiss artists Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller – see trailer here – narrating the story of President Jimmy Carter's solar panels installed on the roof of the the White House in 1979. Latitudes collaborated with the duo during Portscapes, Rotterdam (2009) and most recently in February this year, curated their solo exhibition 'United Alternative Energies' in Arhus, Denmark – see images.
"This symbolic installation was taken down in 1986 during the Reagan presidency. In 1991, Unity College, an environmentally-minded centre of learning in Maine acquired the panels and later installed them on their cafeteria roof. In 'A Road not Taken', the artists travel back in time and, following the route the solar panels took, interview those involved in the decisions regarding these panels as well as those involved in the oil crisis of the time. They also look closely at the way this initial installation presaged our own era." (from the website http://www.roadnottaken.info)
The documentary just won the Golden Sun Award Best Documentary at The International Environmental Film Festival (FICMA), Barcelona. Congratulations Roman and Christina!
The DVD/Book is now available worldwide through their web and other bookstores. Some data:
UPC: 6 34479 99963 5
DVD Region Code: No Zone
Running Time: 66 min.
Rating: no rating
Package Type: Hardcover book in slim DVD case size (192 x 135 x 10 mm, 7.4 x 5.3 x 0.4 “), cellophane wrapped
Number of discs: 1 DVD-5
Directors: Christina Hemauer | Roman Keller
Original Language: English
Closed Captioned: yes
Subtitles: German, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and English
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Format: Dolby stereo
Bonus: 24 min.
All photos of the pages: Latitudes | www.lttds.org
Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller
Cubitt Gallery, 16 April–29 May 2011
Opening: Friday 15 April, 6.30–8.30pm
7.30pm: Performance of an American president’s dedication to the White House solar installation
Saturday 16 April, 2.30pm: A Road Not Taken (2010), film screening and Q&A with the artists
Cubitt Gallery presents the first UK solo exhibition by Swiss artists Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller. Through performance, video, sculptural-recreation, text and archive material, Hemauer and Keller explore two short-lived experiments with solar energy, both marking points of change or crisis in the history of oil consumption.
Latitudes recently collaborated with Hemauer and Keller for Portscapes (2009–10) (see making of video) and the solo show United Alternative Energies, at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Aarhus, Denmark (22 January–3 April 2011).
The exhibition will present Sun of 1913 (2009), which looks back to the first commercial-scale solar power plant, which American engineer Frank Shuman built in Maadi near Cairo in 1913. However, the plant ceased operation after one year, at the onset of World War I, as the British Government began mass-scale crude oil production in Iran, precipitating a widespread turn to oil. A video projection shows the reconstruction of two segments of the plant by the artists and craftsmen in Cairo.
A Curiosity, a Museum Piece and an Example of a Road not Taken (2006-2007) investigates former American president Jimmy Carter’s pioneering but ultimately futile energy programme. It culminated in his symbolic solar installation on the White House roof during the 1979 energy crisis, which was removed by the Ronald Regan administration.
Using re-creation and re-enactment to revitalise the optimism of these pioneering projects, Hemauer and Keller also highlight the time that has since lapsed; that these were “roads not taken”. They revisit episodes in the history of oil and solar energy to ask questions about the present energy situation: increased dependence on, and continued conflict over, fossil fuels.
Christina Hemauer (born 1973 Zurich, Switzerland) and Roman Keller (born 1969 Liestal, Switzerland) live in Zurich, Switzerland. Recent exhibitions include United Alternative Energies, Centre for Contemporary Art, Aarhus, Denmark, curated by Latitudes (2011) and the 11th Cairo International Biennale, Cairo (2009).
Exhibition curated by Fiona Parry.
A Road Not Taken (2010), 66 mins
Film screening and Q&A with the artists
This will be the UK premier of Hemauer and Keller’s documentary road trip film A Road Not Taken (2010). The film is structured around the conceptual act of finding and donating two of Carter’s solar panels to American history museums as the “museum pieces” he warned they might become. Through interviews (including with Carter) and archive footage the film investigates Carter’s energy programme in the context of his foreign policy on Iran during the 1979 oil crisis.
CUBITT - Gallery and Studios
8 Angel Mews
London N1 9HH, UK
Open: Wednesday-Sunday 12-6pm
Installation views of 'Christina Hemauer | Roman Keller: United Alternative Energies', Århus Art Building, Århus, Denmark, until 3 April 2011
The exhibition 'Christina Hemauer | Roman Keller: United Alternative Energies', is the most comprehensive exhibition of the Swiss duo's work to date, presenting ten works of which four are new productions.
Hemauer | Keller has investigated the concept of energy for several years. One of their main areas of interest is the history of oil and its competing alternatives, notably solar energy. Often involving historical research, remembrance, performance and film, their projects focus in particular on the politics of oil, energy crises, and the pursuit of new technology. (+ info...)
A 36 full-colour page booklet can be purchased from the Århus Art Building for 35 DKK (aprox. €4,70). Exhibition remains on view until 3 April 2011.
The Aarhus Art Building
J. M. Moerks Gade 13
8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10-17, Wednesday: 10-21, Monday: closed
Photos and texts accompanying images: Latitudes | www.lttds.org
Friday 21 January opening: 'Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller: United Alternative Energies', Aarhus Art Building, Århus, Denmark
17.45h Performance 'Postpetrolism was heralded here on 21 January 2011' (2006–ongoing)
18.30h Performance 'Postpetrolistic Internationale' (2009–ongoing)
Saturday 22 January, 11am: Panel discussion with Hemauer | Keller and the other exhibiting artist Søren Dahlgaard.
The exhibition ‘Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller: United Alternative Energies’ is the most expansive presentation of the work of the Swiss duo to date, featuring ten works, four of which are new productions.
Hemauer | Keller investigate energy – as an allegorical concept, an invisible force, and a defining theme of geopolitics and modernity. One of the main focuses of their practice is the history of oil and the fate and future of its competing alternatives, notably solar power.
Hemauer | Keller make use of a range of strategies – re-enactment and performance, as well as documentary video, sculpture and text. Their work often provides an opportunity to revitalize key historical moments. For example, the 66 minute documentary essay ‘A Road Not Taken’ (2010) examines former US President Jimmy Carter’s early and ultimately futile efforts to raise awareness about oil dependency, as symbolized by the installation, in 1979, of solar panels on the roof of the West Wing of the White House.
Also featured in this exhibition is No.1 Sun Engine (2008–9). In 1913, American inventor Frank Shuman inaugurated the first large-scale solar power generator near Cairo, Egypt. Although it was economically viable compared to coal power, the plant was only used for one year. In 2008 the artists reconstructed two segments of this pioneering facility and established an information kiosk where local residents and passers-by could discover and contribute to its story.
Globalising the Internationale (2006–ongoing) is a choral work which refers to the songs of socialism and the workers' movements – one of the most widespread social upheavals of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. With this project, the artists aim to use the collective force of the human voice to herald a new age of alternative energy beyond fossil fuels. (+ info...)
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Christina Hemauer (1973) and Roman Keller (1969) live and work in Zürich, Switzerland. Recent exhibitions and projects include: Globalising the Internationale, for Portscapes (2009) and Portscapes exhibition, at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2010); 11th Cairo International Biennale, El Cairo (2008–9), Nettoyage énergétique, Center Contemporary Art Fribourg (2007), A Manifestation, a Dedication and a Place to get the Word out, Swiss Art Awards, Basilea (2007); At this place, Postpetrolism was heralded on 27 April 2006, Kunsthof, Zurich (2006).
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
A 36-page full colour publication in English and Danish will be printed on the occasion of the exhibition. It includes an introductory essay by the curators on the artists' practice as well as short texts about each of the works included in the exhibition.
‘Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller: United Alternative Energies’ has been possible thanks to the generous support of The Danish Arts Council Committee for International Visual Art; Pro Helvetia and the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation.
Please contact Pernille Lyngsø, firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +45 86 20 60 53.
Press photos can be downloaded at www.aarhuskunstbygning.dk
SAVE THE DATE: 'United Alternative Energies: Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller', Aarhus Art Building, Denmark. Opening: 21 January, 5pm
by US former president Jimmie Carter, subject of Hemauer/Keller film 'A Road Not Taken' (2010). Courtesy: the artists
'United Alternative Energies: Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller'
Curated by Latitudes
22 January 22 - 3 April 2011
Opening: 21 January 2011, 5pm
'United Alternative Energies: Christina Hemauer & Roman Keller' is one of 5 exhibition proposals selected from approximately 600 submissions received in response to the Aarhus Art Building's open call for their 2011 programme, entitled 'Imagine: Towards an Eco-Aesthetic'.
Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller have investigated the concept of energy for several years. One of their main areas of interest is the history of oil and its competing alternatives, notably solar energy. Often involving historical research, remembrance, performance and film, their projects focus in particular on the politics of oil, energy crises, and the pursuit of new technology.
The exhibition will be the most comprehensive presentation of the duo's work to date. A small catalogue will be published coinciding with the opening of the exhibition (+ info...)