The work of James Coleman (Ireland, 1941) proposes a reflection on the construction and experience of reality and explores questions relating to perception, representation, memory and identity. Through his use of audiovisual media, Coleman situates the subject at the centre of his work inviting the viewer to consider how interpretation shapes our understanding of what we see. The “photographic” (still and moving image) plays an essential role in these investigations, which are articulated and accompanied by a certain poetic hermeticism and meticulous use of language.
Incorporating synchronized projections of slides, films, audio narrations and soundtracks, Coleman creates mise-en-scène with references taken from daily life, literature, painting, theatre and cinema. Proposing visual scenarios which remain open to interpretation (double images, repetitions, dissociation of image and text, different narrative rhythms and tempos, alternation of past and present) Coleman´s work solicits viewers to participate in the unfolding of meaning. This exhibition, the most comprehensive retrospective to be devoted to Coleman’s long and illustrious career, brings together a wide selection of his work that includes his early pieces from the 1970s, his work of the '90s like Lapsus Exposure and I N I T I A L S, and important pieces like Fly, Box, Untitled: Philippe VACHER and Retake with Evidence. A special selection of material from his personal archives is also on view to the public for the first time.
With the collaboration of:
Reina Sofia Museum's Publications