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Exercise (Djibouti) 2012

2012
Simulation
Dimensions variable
Edition 1/4 + 2 A/P

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Installed at the Old Power Station, Oxford under the auspices of Modern Art Oxford
7th - 29th July, 2012
7000 cm x 5250 cm site - specific projection

 

Solo exhibition curated by Michael Stanley, Director, Modern Art Oxford, Paul Bonaventura, Senior Research Fellow in Fine Art Studies, University of Oxford and Emily Korchmáros, Curator, Modern Art Oxford.

 

Further developing Gerrard’s realtime portraits of physical locations, Exercise (Djibouti) 2012 harnesses simulation and motion capture technologies to create a temporal collage in which disciplined athletic bodies perform a perpetual militarised exercise of strategic capability and intent. On a simulation of the barren landscape of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, two teams of computer-generated figures meet daily at dawn to initiate a series of cryptic gestural routines – precise, repetitive, faintly antagonistic.

Just as the landscape is a painstaking, extremely complex reproduction of an actual space that was generated using photographs and satellite data, the figures in Exercise (Djibouti) 2012 were generated by engaging a group of elite athletes in training for the London 2012, whose actual movements were converted to data with the latest motion-capture technologies.  Neither completely synthetic nor strictly real, the work exists in ‘real time’ (Djibouti: GMT +3 hours), orbiting over a yearly cycle that incorporates the movements of sun, moon and stars. 

See a video excerpt from the work : https://vimeo.com/46039743

For further installation shots see 'exbibited'. 

 

July 2012 : A round table discussion co-hosted by Modern Art Oxford, Urbanomic, The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, and University of Oxford. The event took place at the Old Power Station in Oxford, site of the installation of John Gerrard's commission EXERCISE (DJIBOUTI) 2012.

 

Participants: Antoine Bousquet (Birkbeck, London), Shane Brighton (University of Sussex), James Der Derian (Brown University), Mark Fisher (Goldsmiths University of London), Mark Hansen (Duke University), Stepan Kment (Bohemia Interactive), Robin Mackay (Urbanomic) [Chair], Eyal Weizman (Goldsmiths), Eivind Røssaak (National Library of Norway), Anne-Fran¬ćoise Schmid (École des Mines de Paris), Donna de Salvo (Whitney), McKenzie Wark (New School, NY). As space is limited, attendance is by invitation only. Proceedings of the round table discussion will be transcribed and made available on-site, and will form a part of a future publication.

Further details : http://www.urbanomic.com/event-uf19-details.php

 

 

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Production credits
Producer : Werner Poetzelberger
Programmers : Helmut Bressler, Matthias Strohmaier
Actors : Somto Eruchie, Jordan McGrath, Julian Thomas
3D scanning, texture photography / character retopology: Sample & Hold
Motion capture : Audiomotion Studios
3D modelling / animation processing: arx anima
3D modelling / animation processing coordinator: Christoph Staber
Motion capture editing / animation processing: Paul Pammesberger,
Patrick Zeymer, Laszlo Nyikos, Stefan Kubicek, Benedikt Lutz
3D environment modelling / texturing: Martin Hebestreit, Adam Donavan

Other credits
Principal exhibition supporter: Audiomotion Studios
Exhibition sponsor: ArtAV
Exercise (Djibouti) 2012 is commissioned by the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, Oxford University Sport and Modern Art Oxford and forms part of the London 2012 Festival. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Culture Ireland, John Fell OUP Fund, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Podium and Magdalen College, Oxford, the project also forms part of RELAY, a region-wide programme of new visual arts commissions and live events across the South East to mark the Olympic year.
 

Photograph courtesy John Gerrard Studio

Credits / Photos
David Fisher

Exercise (Djibouti) 2012

2014

Exercise at Borusan

Exercise (Djibouti) 2014 at Borusan, Istanbul

2012

Exercise (Djibouti) 2012
Modern Art Oxford

7th - 29th July, 2012
7000 cm x 5250 cm site - specific projection
Installed at the Old Power Station, Oxford under the auspices of Modern Art Oxford.

The latest project in Modern Art Oxford’s offsite programme, Exercise (Djibouti) 2012 by John Gerrard was presented as a large-scale cinematic installation in the dramatic setting of a disused powerstation in Oxford.

Originating in found documentary images of US military exercises in Djibouti (Horn of Africa) and informed by the artist’s research into athletic achievement, the work makes unprecedented use of emerging technologies to reflect on the relationship between competitive sport, military training, theatrical performance and dance...

Exhibition curated by Paul Bonaventura, Senior Research Fellow in Fine Art Studies, University of Oxford, Michael Stanley, Director, Modern Art Oxford and Emily Korchmáros, Curator, Modern Art Oxford.

http://www.modernartoxford.org.uk/

 

July 2012 : A round table discussion co-hosted by Modern Art Oxford, Urbanomic, The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art and University of Oxford. The event took place at the Old Power Station in Oxford, site of the installation of John Gerrard's commission EXERCISE (DJIBOUTI) 2012.

 

Participants: Antoine Bousquet (Birkbeck, London), Shane Brighton (University of Sussex), James Der Derian (Brown University), Mark Fisher (Goldsmiths University of London), Mark Hansen (Duke University), Stepan Kment (Bohemia Interactive), Robin Mackay (Urbanomic) [Chair], Eyal Weizman (Goldsmiths), Eivind Røssaak (National Library of Norway), Anne-Fran¬ćoise Schmid (École des Mines de Paris), Donna de Salvo (Whitney), McKenzie Wark (New School, NY). As space is limited, attendance is by invitation only. Proceedings of the round table discussion will be transcribed and made available on-site, and will form a part of a future publication.

 

The Round Table was supported by Thomas Dane Gallery, Simon Preston Gallery and a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. 

Further details : http://www.urbanomic.com/event-uf19-details.php

 

 

Exercise
Simon Preston Gallery

Site specific projection

March 1st - April 14th 2013

 

Simon Preston Gallery is delighted to present a survey of recent major simulations by John Gerrard. The exhibition includes Exercise (Djibouti) 2012, originally exhibited by Modern Art Oxford* and Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran) 2011, originally exhibited by Manchester International Festival**. The show will open to the public on Friday 1st March and run until Sunday 14th April, 2013.

 

Installed as a site specific projection, Exercise (Djibouti) 2012 features an actual site of military exercise on a vast natural mud flat in the Horn of Africa, where two teams of athletes wearing red and blue, the traditional colors of war gaming, meet daily to run a figure of eight to the point of exhaustion. The centre of this form is the locus of a highly complex intersection for the performers, whose routine is controlled through the release of prismatic camouflage smoke canisters and develops across the calendar year .... 

 

‘... It’s important to note that in Exercise this optimisation of human power and its relation to discipline and choreographed display is explored through some of the very technologies that increasingly mediate both global warfare and global entertainment .... it is eerily recognizable, and yet it’s immediately very difficult to understand quite what kind of ‘thing’ it is, without assimilating it to some kind of aesthetic or cultural paradigm that it doesn’t quite belong to’  Robin MacKay - Oxford round table on ‘Simulation, Exercise, Operations’***

 

* commissioned by the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, Oxford University Sport and Modern Art Oxford 
***The premiere of Exercise (Djibouti) 2012 at the Old Power Station, Oxford was accompanied by a round table titled 'Simulation, Exercise, Operations', convened by Urbanomic and organised in association with the University of Oxford.

 

 

 

 

Pursuit of Perfection: The Politics of Sport
South London Gallery

Installed at Southwark Old Town Hall under the auspices of South London Gallery.

Pursuit of Perfection: The Politics of Sport brings together art works which, in different ways and to varying degrees of seriousness or wit, play on some of the issues raised by sport, the politics surrounding it and its representation in the media. Aleksandra Mir’s spectacular installation Triumph, 2009, comprises 2,529 trophies; a sound piece by Janice Kerbel presents a specially scripted baseball commentary; and works by Roderick Buchanan, Lucy Gunning, Jonathan Monk, Ariel Orozco and Paul Pfeiffer take football as their subject. In Southwark Old Town Hall, John Gerrard’s Exercise (Djibouti) 2012 uses digital technologies to explore aspects of sport, spectacle, military exercise and power. In stark contrast, Michel Auder’s low-tech video collage of clips from TV coverage of the 1984 LA Olympics focuses on the human body, eroticised and mechanised in its pursuit of perfection.
http://www.southlondongallery.org

Exercise at Borusan

Exercise (Djibouti) 2012

Exercise

Pursuit of Perfection: The Politics of Sport

RESEARCH IMAGE

Djibouti Figure 2012
2012
Giclee print on hahnemuehle photorag
22 x 15,5 cm
Edition of 25 + 5AP

FOUND IMAGE
FOUND IMAGE
FOUND IMAGE

RESEARCH IMAGE

FOUND IMAGE

FOUND IMAGE

FOUND IMAGE

Selected Press
media coverage of Exercise (Djibouti) 2012

 

The Guardian 'Critics Picks', July 2012

'John Gerrard Oxford

 

The New Yorker
Goings on About Town: Art
'John Gerrard'

 

Sarah Mayhew: "A highly-charged cinematic installation in a dramatic setting puts an interesting twist on the current Olympic obsession", Thursday 19th July 2012, Oxford Mail

Selected Press