blockbuster nomadic cinema
blockbuster nomadic cinema blockbuster nomadic cinema
nov 26, 2011

blockbuster nomadic cinema

blockbuster: cinema for exhibitions MUAC, mexico city on now until february 5th, 2012

installation view of ‘blockbuster: cinema for exhibitions’ at MUAC, mexico city all images courtesy of samael barrios

‘blockbuster: cinema for exhibitions’ investigates the work of a group of contemporary film and video artists who have been influenced by specific aspects that lie in the work of the great directors of the twentieth century. each of the artists was asked to select a cinematographic piece to accompany a work of their own. in some pairings, the selected pieces are obvious starting points, while others are more subtle in their association, sharing perhaps a similar sensibility or antagonized relationship in the means of the exploration of the image in movement and its potential.

exterior view of one of the ‘cinemas’

the overall scenography of the exhibition executed by samael barrios, set-up aims to recreate the cinematographic experience for the audience, as well as support the main cinema sources that have served as a point of reference in the development of each video artist presenting their work. thus, the exposition is composed of two integral parts: the film series and the video art program. the presentation translates a series of technical requirements and special necessities into an organizational concept that treats the project as a video art box: a roaming container that reinforces the mobility and diversity of works comprising the curatorial line inquire.

first and foremost, the development of the project needed to address features necessary for the projection of video art, which requires impeccable image quality, clarity of sound and acoustic isolation. in addition to these technical necessities, there were further considerations related to the various display formats and visual projects on show: 21 artists, 21 different screen sizes, seven different video formats and seven different audio configurations. these aspects have affected the resolution of the museum design for this show, as well as the form each cinema would have to take in order to be portable enough to travel to different venues quickly, compactly and economically.

space in between the cinemas

the size of each of the projection modules responds to the minimum average hall size requested by the artist. this has added a diverse range of venues and configurations, these disparate spatial qualities to which the project has to adapt itself. the structural composition of each is a system made from trusses that provides and withstands the weight of the technical equipment that the projections require. this metal skeleton is covered with an inflatable acoustic skin made with blackout canvas that block light from penetrating the exhibition spaces. this construction system allows for a very simple and intuitive process of mantling and dismantling, capable of being used by the technical personnel at each venue. another advantage of this project stems from it being able to inflate and deflate the canvas modules; since all elements can be completely disassembled, the volume to be transported is minimal.



in addition to responding to technical restraints, the material language used in the design re-creates the atmosphere of a contemporary nomadic movie theater, appropriate the space of the museum as though it were a public plaza, becoming a sort of temporary installation of education and entertainment, a video art box that get set-up and disassembled and move on.

reading area



‘romance’ film poster

the graphic design for the exhibition was developed by san francisco-based graphic designer john sueda who is the director of stripe SF studio. he drew on elements belonging to the collective imaginary, establishing an immediate relationship among the different social groups in the audience. the overall cinematic experience achieved by the museum design is based on these resources, translating them into elements like lighting red carpet, and a freestanding structure that virtually establishes a reading room by creating a special environment different from that of the halls. in the reading room visitors are able to find a recommended bibliography as well as technical information about the artist and their works.

‘western’ film poster

‘horror’ film poster

project info: blockbuster cinema for exhibitions organized by: CIAC foundation, mexico city venue: MUAC curator: jens hoffman exhibition design: samael barrios graphic design: jon sueda photographer: victor deschamps

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