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Installation view of Ballet Mécanique

Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy, Installation view of Ballet Mécanique, 1923–1924. Film: 16mm, black and white, sound, digitized. Duration: 15 minutes, 53 seconds. Courtesy of Masterworks of American Avant-Garde Experimental Film 1920–1970, G. Schirmer, Inc., Estate of George Antheil, Paul D. Lehrman. unseen-cinema.com. Image Art Gallery of Ontario

Ballet mécanique

April 27 - November 10, 2019

Located on the first floor in gallery 129.

This exhibition is included with general admission.

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EXHIBITION OVERVIEW

Ballet Mécanique premiered in 1924 and stunned audiences with its unique vision. French artist Ferdinand Léger, already a recognized painter and sculptor, collaborated with Dudley Murphy, an American filmmaker, and artist Man Ray to create this film, which stands out as an early example of avant-garde experimental cinematography.  Léger’s art examines the dynamic relationships and intersections between humans and machines and film emerged as an ideal medium to interrogate these concepts. Ballet Mécanique presents kaleidoscopic footage of humans and machines that has been overlapped, juxtaposed, cut and edited to make a distorted dance, at once erratic and graceful. George Antheil conceived the radical score that celebrates dissonance and enhances the film’s jarring effect.

Presented in collaboration with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

The installation of the AGO’s Photography Collection is generously supported by Volunteers of the AGO

The second iteration will be on view from November 23, 2019 to April 19, 2020.


FROM THE EXHIBITION

Installation view of Ballet Mécanique

Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy, Installation view of Ballet Mécanique, 1923–1924. Film: 16mm, black and white, sound, digitized. Duration: 15 minutes, 53 seconds. Courtesy of Masterworks of American Avant-Garde Experimental Film 1920–1970, G. Schirmer, Inc., Estate of George Antheil, Paul D. Lehrman. unseen-cinema.com. Image Art Gallery of Ontario

Installation view of Ballet Mécanique 1
Installation view of Ballet Mécanique

Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy, Installation view of Ballet Mécanique, 1923–1924. Film: 16mm, black and white, sound, digitized. Duration: 15 minutes, 53 seconds. Courtesy of Masterworks of American Avant-Garde Experimental Film 1920–1970, G. Schirmer, Inc., Estate of George Antheil, Paul D. Lehrman. unseen-cinema.com. Image Art Gallery of Ontario

Installation view of Ballet Mécanique 2
Installation view of Ballet Mécanique

Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy, Installation view of Ballet Mécanique, 1923–1924. Film: 16mm, black and white, sound, digitized. Duration: 15 minutes, 53 seconds. Courtesy of Masterworks of American Avant-Garde Experimental Film 1920–1970, G. Schirmer, Inc., Estate of George Antheil, Paul D. Lehrman. unseen-cinema.com. Image Art Gallery of Ontario

Installation view of Ballet Mécanique 3
Installation view of Ballet Mécanique

Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy, Installation view of Ballet Mécanique, 1923–1924. Film: 16mm, black and white, sound, digitized. Duration: 15 minutes, 53 seconds. Courtesy of Masterworks of American Avant-Garde Experimental Film 1920–1970, G. Schirmer, Inc., Estate of George Antheil, Paul D. Lehrman. unseen-cinema.com. Image Art Gallery of Ontario

Installation view of Ballet Mécanique 4
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