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Cork French Film Festival

10.03.11

Iconic French film maker to unveil fine art photography and video installation for first time at Cork French Film Festival.

An exhibition by iconic French filmmaker and artist Agnés Varda will be officially launched in her presence on Wednesday 9th March. 'Open Windows' an installation specially curated for the Cork French Film Festival sponsored by Bord Gáis Energy, runs in Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork from 10th March - 2nd April.

The exhibition hosts a selection of Varda's video installations and fine art photography. Highlights include Portraits Brisés (Shattered Portraits), a set of 19 photographs some of which were specially created for this show. Varda shows fragile faces, shivering souls and fragmented moments printed on glass or mirrors. A fragmented self-portrait of the artist completes this series, along with two broken mirrors, in which visitors can contemplate their own shattered faces. Her ongoing Patates Coeurs (Potato Hearts) series will be familiar to those who have seen her seminal film The Gleaners & I (2000) which screens as part of our film retrospective. Other pieces featured in her groundbreaking exhibition at Foundation Cartier for Contemporary Arts in Paris in 2005. Le Tombeau de Zgougou (Zgougou's Grave) a video installation with music by Steve Reich takes us from the grave of the filmmaker's beloved cat to a cosmic view of the wider world and stars.

"What is fascinating about Agnés Varda is that she is re-inventing herself all the time and at the same time re-inventing our own notions of cinema. She was a photographer with no knowledge of filmmaking when she made her debut feature La Pointe Court which heralded the French New Wave of the 1960's. She then moved into documentary film, fundamentally changing its practice with her subjective approach - a style which has since become the standard. Now in her 80's she has begun a career as a visual artist and we are very proud to be hosting her first exhibition in Ireland. With her installations, Agnés opens up yet another window to cinema." Paul Callanan, Festival Curator.

Agnés Varda is a key figure in modern film history and one of the world's leading filmmakers. From anticipating the French New Wave to inventively embracing and re-defining digital video, Agnés Varda has always bounded forward with a restless, inspiring joy for filmmaking. Trained in art and photography Varda used the skills she honed early in her career as a photographer to create some of the most nuanced, thought-provoking films of the past fifty years. Varda has traced a path through cinema as invigorating, whimsical, painterly, and searching as it has been personal. Always ready to experiment and to explore Agnés Varda remains one of the essential cinematic poets of our time and a true visionary.

Varda made her debut as an installation artist at Venice Biennale in 2003. Her groundbreaking exhibition filled the entire Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Paris in 2006 and her work has been bought by MoMA and other major galleries. Cork French Film Festival sponsored by Bord Gáis Energy is very honoured to be presenting Varda's first exhibition in either Ireland or the UK.

The exhibition will be officially opened on Wednesday 9th March in the presence of Agnés Varda.

The exhibition runs from 10th March - 2nd April 2011, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Wandesford Quay, Cork City.
Opening Hours: Wed- Sat 10am - 6pm
For further information and full details on the Cork French Film Festival sponsored by Bord Gáis Energy log onto www.corkfrenchfilmfestival.com »

Notes to editor:

In addition to this, a separate exhibition of Varda's black and white photography will take place at Alliance Française de Cork Gallery, 36 Mary Street.

Quelques Portraits is a stunning collection of black and white photographs taken by Varda in the 1950's and 1960's. Several of these portraits have achieved a cult status and feature iconic images of Jacques Demy, Federico Fellini, Fidel Castro, Sophia Loren and many more.

Honours

Vagabond (1985) - Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival.
The Beaches of Agnes (2009) - Best Documentary Cesar Awards
Awarded the Legion of Honour (2009)

Selected Exhibitions

Venice Biennale (2003)
Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Paris (2006)
Carpenter Centre for Visual Art, Harvard USA (2009)
Cork French Film Festival (2011)