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'21st Century: Art in the First Decade' is an exhibition, publication, blog and series of public programs at the Queensland Art Gallery l Gallery of Modern Art that explore the art of the past ten years. As an expanded platform for the exhibition, the '21st Century Blog' functions as a source book of reference material and contributions provided by artists, curators and writers. Read more

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2008.050.001-2a-s_001_installation view

Pierre Bismuth | The Jungle Book project (installation view) 2002 | 19 pencil drawings on paper, carpet, cushions and single channel video (DVD format), 75:06 minutes, colour, sound | 19 sheets: 29.7 x 21cm (each) | Purchased 2008. The Queensland Government's Gallery of Modern Art Acquisitions Fund | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Pierre Bismuth ‘The Jungle Book project’ 2002

A defining feature of contemporary art over the past decade is its engagement with cinema and Pierre Bismuth is recognised for his unique and sophisticated interventions in the operations of films. The Disney adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is among the most popular animated features of all time. Available in an extraordinary number of languages, it has global reach. In Bismuth’s The Jungle Book project 2002, 19 translations of the film are used to create a new version in which every character speaks a different language. This multiplicity can be read in a number of ways. Does the ability of the characters to understand each other represent a utopian sentiment? Yet, Bismuth’s intervention has converted something intelligible into something that no single viewer can understand. When installed, The Jungle Book project recalls a child’s nursery, suggesting that Bismuth also evokes the pre-linguistic stage of young children.

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