September 29—October 31, 2021
Widely known for his work in independent cinema, Jim Jarmusch’s creative practice crosses the disciplines of film, visual art, music, production, and poetry. Much like the process behind his scriptwriting, Jarmusch’s collages adopt a method akin to automatic writing in which he attempts to continually react rather than overthink or interpret the results of each action recorded on the page. This exhibition presents a body of forty collages made between 2016 and the present, wherein newspaper images are cut up and combined into one or two layers against a ground of reused cardboard, brown craft paper, or black paper. These works distill many years of collage as a constantly roving creative practice that also grounds the breadth of Jarmusch’s output.
Reconfiguring hundreds of collected newspaper clippings, Jarmusch’s visual interventions are minimal. Within these works, complete transformations can occur through a single gesture (for example, a face becomes a mask or a void). Oftentimes, Jarmusch will include a small section of text from the original page, further obscuring the image while ostensibly offering more of its accompanying context. While some of these works may contain recognizable figures, their fundamental abstraction is often more relevant to the work’s intent—as Jarmusch explains, he is more interested in “variations and repetitions” across all of his work. As part of this process of “reorganizing visual information,” Jarmusch prefers to carefully tear the paper rather than relying on the exactitude of a knife cut—ultimately preserving the microscopic texture that he describes first observing with great fascination as a child.
Jim Jarmusch (b. 1953, Akron, Ohio) attended Columbia University and New York University in the late 1970s. Jarmusch has directed films including The Dead Don’t Die (2019), Paterson (2016), Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), Broken Flowers (2005), Dead Man (1999), Down By Law (1986), and Stranger than Paradise (1984). He won the Caméra d'Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival for Stranger Than Paradise and the Grand Prix at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival for Broken Flowers. Jarmusch’s moving image collection is held at the Academy Film Archive. As a musician, he has also created numerous soundtracks and studio albums, including as the band SQÜRL (since 2009). This month, Anthology Editions published Jarmusch’s first monograph, Some Collages, including many of the works on view here, accompanied by texts by Lucy Sante and Randy Kennedy.