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Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran) 2011

Dimensions variable

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30th June - 17 July, 2011
7m x 4.6m artist - designed frameless LED wall

A virtual camera circles a computer-generated version of a landscape found in southern Iran, recording a simulated figure standing in the road, dressed in non-nationalized army fatigues. The man performs a routine of gestures derived from contemporary military exercise, day and night--without ever leaving his post--for a full calendar year, during which the simulated sun, moon and stars traverse their actual paths in real-time.

In setting and subject, Infinite Freedom Exercise takes its inspiration from a photograph by Henri Bureau, the French photographer, which depicts an Iranian soldier during the first Iran-Iraq war (1980), watching a fire at an oil refinery in Abadan, south-western Iran. Created utilizing the latest motion-capture technologies, and in collaboration with choreographer Wayne McGregor, the figure mimics the prescribed gestures of mortar warfare.

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Credits / Production
Producer : Werner Poetzelberger
Programmers : Helmut Bressler, Matthias Strohmaier
Dancer : Davide di Pretoro of Wayne McGregor / Random Dance
Lead modeller / texturing (character): Michael Maehring
Motion Capture : Bohemia Interactive / Stephan Kment
Motion capture data handling and animation: Arx Anima / Christoph Staber, Patrick Zeymer, Stefan Kubicek, Paul Pammesberger
Lead modeller / texturing (environment): Martin Hebestreit
Modeller / texturing (environment ): Benno Verschueren, Mason Doran
Production photographer: Jakob Polacsek
Original military documentation:

Choreography developed in collaboration with Wayne McGregor

Credits / Installation
Technical Installation Design : Jakob Illera / Inseq PD

Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran) 2011 was commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival and Thomas Dane Gallery with the support of Outset Contemporary Art Fund and Culture Ireland.

Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran) 2011


Exercise at Borusan

Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran) 2011
Site specific projection

Infinite Freedom Exercise
Darmstadt Kunsthalle, Germany

Installed as an object. 


Simon Preston Gallery


March 1st - April 14th 2013


Artist frame in rusted steel. PC. LCD Panel. Turn sensor.

40.6 x 33.9 x 9.3 in. / 103 x 86 x 23.5 cm. overall


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.


In Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran) 2011, a virtual camera circles the landscape in southern Iran, recording a figure dressed in non-nationalized army fatigues. This actor performatively mimics the prescribed gestures of mortar release in an evolving sequence, developed in collaboration with celebrated choreographer Wayne McGregor. Infinite Freedom Exercise responds to a press image of a soldier observing burning Iranian oil refineries in 1980 and is joined in the exhibition by a new related work which represents these fires.


Images show (as objects) the work : 


Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran) 2011

to left &

Burning Oil Fields (near Abadan, Iran) 2011

to right








More Real
Minneapolis Institute of Arts

More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness

Exhibition Dates: March 21 - June 9, 2013


Over the past century, a period of unprecedented technological change and global social upheaval, once agreed-upon beliefs, or “truths,” have been cast into doubt, changing and shaping our understanding and experience of reality. “More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness” features work by 25 of today’s most accomplished and promising international artists who explore our shifting experience of reality.


This exhibition is organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in partnership with SITE Santa Fe.

Exhibition Itinerary:
SITE Santa Fe: July 8, 2012 – January 6, 2013
Minneapolis Institute of Arts: March 3 – June 9, 2013


Manchester International Festival
Brazennose Street. Manchester City Centre

frameless LED wall, 7m x 4.6m
30th June - 17th July, 2011

Manchester International Festival is a leading biennial festival of original cross-artform productions and special events celebrating Manchester’s pre-eminence in arts, culture and music. The Festival was launched in 2007 as an artist-led festival presenting new works in performing arts, visual arts and contemporary culture, some of which was created specifically for the Festival by internationally-recognised artists and producers use MIF as a platform to tour their new material around the world.

Video courtesy Manchester International Festival

Exercise at Borusan

Infinite Freedom Exercise


More Real

Manchester International Festival


Working Drawing for Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran), 2011
giglee print on hahnemuehle photorag
80 x 51 cm
20 1/8 x 31 1/2 in.
Edition of 15 + 5AP


An Iranian soldier watches as smoke billows from multiple burning oil refineries in Abadan, Iran. Abadan.

Photographer: Henri Bureau
Credit: © Henri Bureau/Sygma/Corbis


U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua Morris shoots a mortar round from a 120 mm mortar tube during a training and certification test at the combat outpost. He is member of the mortar section for Delta Company located at Combat Outpost Zerok, Paktika province, Afghanistan, May 18.


Credit - Photo by Sgt. Derec Pierson / From DVIDS


A cloud of smoke is all that can be seen as the mortar round leaves the weapon's barrel at high speed during the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, mortarmen's brigade level training, Sept. 29, at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.



Credit - Photo by Pvt. Mary Gurnee / From DVIDS






Response : Public
flash mob by the John Gerrard screening “Infinite Freedom Exercise“ at lincoln square (17.07.2011)

Credit: Uploaded by bonniemeekums on Jul 17, 2011

» See video
» See original footage on youtube

Response : Public