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véréna paravel

lucien castaing-taylor

Castaing-Taylor and Paravel collaborate as anthropologists, artists, and filmmakers in the Sensory Ethnography Laboratory, based in Cambridge, USA, at Harvard University, and in Paris, France. Their work conjugates art's negative capability with an ethnographic attachment to the flux of life. It is in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art and the British Museum, and has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate, London's Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Whitney Museum, the Centre Pompidou, the Berlin Kunsthalle, the Whitechapel Gallery, PS1, the X-Initiative, and elsewhere. It has formed the subject of symposia at the Smithsonian Institution, the Musée du quai Branly, and the British Museum. Their films and videos have been screened at Berlin, Locarno, New York, Toronto, and other film festivals.

Most of Castaing-Taylor and Paravel's collaborations are in film, video, and installation. Their works include Canst Thou Draw Out Leviathan with a Hook (2012—), a four-part project about humanity and the sea. Their film Leviathan was released theatrically in 2013, and won the FIPRESCI (International Film Critics) Award of Locarno International Film Festival, the Michael Powell Award of the Edinburgh Film Festival, New Vision Award of CPH:DOX, the Silva Puma for Best Film in FICUNAM, the Los Angeles Film Critics' Circle Douglas Edwards Independent and Experimental Film Award, and sixteen other awards. Additional awards for their work include the 2013 True Vision Award, the 2013 Albert Award in the Arts, and Guggenheim Fellowship (2012). Still Life/ Nature Morte and twelve of their other moving image works were included in the 2014 Whitney Museum Biennial. Retrospectives of their work include Film Society of Lincoln Center (2014), Filmoteca Española (2014), Viennale (2013), and Montreal RIDM (2013). They are currently at work on various installations of still and moving images set in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, including The Last Judgment, which will be installed in the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine Cathedral, New York City, in 2015.

Earlier works include Sweetgrass (Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash), a film that offers an unsentimental elegy at once to the American West and to the 10,000 years of uneasy accommodation between post-Paleolithic humans and animals, and Foreign Parts (Paravel and JP Sniadecki), a film that observes and captures the struggle of a contested "eminent domain” neighborhood before its disappearance under the capitalization of New York's urban ecology.