Dürer’s Rhinoceros, a 41-minute film by Venezuelan artist Javier Téllez, is playing at the San Francisco Art Institute as part of the exhibit JAVIER TÉLLEZ: GAMES ARE FORBIDDEN IN THE LABYRINTH.
Dürer’s Rhinoceros is set within the panopticon of Hospital Miguel Bombarda in Lisbon, collaborating with psychiatric outpatients who form the film’s cast. Following the original architectural plans of Jeremy Bentham for a panoptic institution, the prison housed the criminally insane, and was in continuous operation from 1896 until 2000, when it was converted into a museum. Téllez conducted a series of workshops with the patients in advance of filming that led them to enact fictional everyday scenarios within the cells. The dramatic fragmentation of these sequences is set against a series of voiceovers quoting from Plato’s Cave, Jeremy Bentham’s letter on the panopticon, Kafka’s short story “The Burrow,” and a patient’s imagined account of life inside the institution.
Read an interview with Téllez in Remezcla.
San Francisco: Sept. 9 - Dec. 13 at the San Francisco Art Institute.