Photo: Peter Cox, Eindhoven, The Netherlands;
Archives Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Mark Lewis was born in Hamilton, Ontario and now lives and works in London, UK. A world renowned filmmaker, Lewis emerged as a photographer and creator of politically charged public installation works. From 1989 to 1997 he lived in Vancouver and become part of the burgeoning photo-conceptualism scene of the Vancouver School. Much of his work focuses on the technology of film and the different genres which have been developed in over 100 years of film history. His films tend to look at contemporary cities, film history, and the way film has impacted ideas about everyday life. In 2009, Lewis represented Canada at the Venice Biennale. Other exhibitions include shows at The contemporary Austin, Texas, USA ; FMAC, Geneva, Switzerland; Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto; Canada House, London; Musée du Louvre, Paris; 31st Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Paulo; L’Espace de l’Art Concret, Château de Mouans, France; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Nederlands; Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland; Carpenter Centre, Harvard University, USA; Forte di Bard, Aosta, Italy; International Film Festival
Museo Marino Marini, Florence, Italy; Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto, Canada; Le Bal, Paris, France; the Power Plant, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Hamburger Kunstverein, BFI Southbank and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
His work is in many collections including Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; Arco Foundation, Madrid, Spain; Arts Council Collection, London, England; CAPC, Bordeaux, France; Centre Pompidou-Musee National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo, Sevilla, Spain; FNAC Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Puteaux, France; Frac Bretagne, France; Hammer Museum, Los Angles, USA; Israel Museum, Jereusalem, Israel; Jumex Collection, Mexico City, Mexico; Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland; Mamco – Musee d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; MUDAM – Musee d’art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg; MuHKA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, Belgium; MuHKA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, Belgium; Musee d’art contemporain, Montreal, Canada; Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; Museion- Museo d’arte moderna et contemporanea, Bolzano, Italy; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada and Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Canada.
Lewis is also co-editorial director of Afterall, which produces a journal and books on contemporary art.
He has won many prestigious awards, including 2016 Governor General Award in Media Arts; 2007 Iskowitz Prize at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canadian award for achievement in the visual arts, and Brit Art Doc Foundation Award; and 2005 Film London Artists Film Production Grant.
Mark Lewis has reflected on the environment and space people have created, and how image express the space people have built and lived in. He uses advanced visual equipment and re-examine the visual history, to capture and reconstruct contemporary urban scenery. In his work, cities are like “pulsing organs”. He observes cities with canny and unfamiliar perspectives. He has been fascinated by textures and rhythms of cities, and believes that “film should begin with curiosity and not mere cold mechanic movement.” Motion (From the Minhocão to the Cinema Marabá) is a film created for The São Paulo International Film Festival (2015). His smooth and floating shots present the night scenes of São Paulo’s urban space. Spaces that have been occupied by people in daytime are now silent and lonely, but rich with traces, forms, textures, characters of people, life, culture and material that left there for voyeuristic glimpse and wondering. At the end of the film, a young man with a bicycle suddenly falls down at the entrance of Cinema Marabá, while a group of people (maybe just finished watching a film) rushed out and saw him lying there with surprise. And the film finish abruptly, or promptly. The scene evokes one’s memory of Michael Snow’s masterwork Wavelength, in which a man falls to the floor in an apartment room and dies. But Lewis doesn’t provide any opportunity for narrative construction. The scene is more or less an interruption of the silent night world in which buildings, lights, and shadows breath and vibrate like a huge body. Suddenly something happened, and then the mystery of not knowing what and why. In a strange way, it is like a contemporary echoing of Rembrendt’s De Nachtwacht, but activities and narratives are suspended, while the space seems full of specters and unheard murmurs.
Mark Lewis, Motion (From the Minhocão to the Cinema Marabá), 2015. 5k transferred to 2k, 6'58''.
Film still courtesy and copyright the artist and Daniel Faria Gallery.