James Fotopoulos
February 20 – March 23
Opening reception Friday February 20, 6-9pm

James Fotopoulos, “Untitled”, 2015, inkjet archival print, 11 x 14 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Microscope Gallery

Microscope is very pleased to present The Given, the second solo exhibition by artist James Fotopoulos at the gallery featuring new video, drawings and digital prints. The title piece, with actress Sophie Traub as the lead, is a 75-minute semi-narrative reflection on the nature of acting, recalled memory, and lived experience. The work, shot both in actual and staged settings in New York, is influenced by a series of unusually intense dreams the artist recorded in a journal years ago and his time spent accompanying a Chicago detective in his investigation of several murders not long thereafter. Themes of sexuality, abuse, and art as related to the works of Frank Wedekind, especially “Fruhlings Erwachenen” (Spring Awakening), anchor the experimental work.

With The Given Fotopoulus draws attention to the elements and traditions overlapping and separating the notions and presentations of art and cinema. The video “The Given” is projected in darkness in the room on a 12-foot screen, with rows of seats for an audience, and is played in its entirety, looping four times a day, during regular gallery hours. Four graphite and Conté crayon drawings completed after and with references to the film, an original movie poster and a digital print by the artist hang lit on the walls. Fotopoulos’ preliminary sketches, story boards, scripts and other documentation of “The Given” have been assembled together in a presentation book also on view.

2015 – 75 minutes
Screenwriter & Director: James Fotopoulos
featuring: Sophie Traub, Samantha Tunis, Paweł Wojtasik, Bradley Eros
Music: Nanette Scriba

An actress living in New York performs an audition, then goes to meditation and winds up at a party of artists viewing a film. At home, she and her girlfriend explore buried memories and later nightmares trigger sleepwalking. Finally, the actress enacts a childlike performance inspired by a Frank Wedekind play.

Gallery Hours: Thursday to Monday 1-6pm starting at approximately: 1:15, 2:30, 3:45, & 5:00pm, audience may enter and exit the exhibition at any time.

A series of related screenings and other events takes place every Monday during the month of March:

Monday March 2, 7.30pm: “There” (2014) by James Fotopoulos
Monday March 9, 7.30pm: Intersections Part I: Fotopoulos/Cory Arcangel, Fotopoulos/Ben Coonley, Fotopoulos/Stom Sogo
Monday March 16, 7.30pm: Intersections Part II: Fotopoulos/Barney Rosset
Monday March 23, 7pm: Artist Talk: James Fotopoulos w/ Sophie Traub


James Fotopoulos is an artist working primarily with the mediums of moving image, sculpture, and drawing. Among his many notable film and video works, which range from several seconds to over seven hours are Zero (1997), his first feature which debuted when Fotopoulos was just 20, Migrating Forms (1999), Christabel (2001),  Jerusalem (2003-2004), The Sky Song (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Dignity (2012), and There (2014). His works have screened and exhibited in the US and abroad including at MoMA P.S.1, Walker Art Center, Whitney Biennial, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Arts and Design, Andy Warhol Museum, Sundance Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, London Film Festival, Festival del Film Locarno, Museo de Art Contemportaneo del Zulia, Venezuela, Biennial for Videoart, Mechelen, Belgium, among others. His work has been discussed in ArtforumThe New York TimesThe Village VoiceHyperallergicThe New York Post, and others. He is a recipient of a Creative Capital Foundation Grant. James Fotopoulos was born in Chicago, IL in 1976 and currently lives and works in New York.

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