Adaptation: Video Installations by Ben-Ner, Herrera, Sullivan, and Sussman & The Rufus Corporation
While adaptation is a common practice in popular culture-familiar to moviegoers and booklovers who debate endlessly whether the film version is superior to the novel-it is perhaps less well known as a practice in contemporary art. This exhibition looks at the use of adaptation in the recent work of four leading artists: Guy Ben-Ner, Arturo Herrera, Catherine Sullivan and Eve Sussman & The Rufus Corporation. These artists have transformed source material to make their own adapted works of art, re-envisioning classic literature, film, ballet, email and painting as new video installations. For example, Ben-Ner condenses Herman Melville's Moby-Dick into a brief silent video made almost entirely in the artist's kitchen, while Sussman's feature-length The Rape of the Sabine Women transforms an eighteenth-century painting into an extended contemporary narrative. In six video installations adapted from source material, the exhibition addresses questions of fidelity and creativity while generating new understandings of the use of adaptation as a practice in contemporary art.