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Press Release

Opening Reception: Friday October 23rd, 6 – 8pm

As part of General Control, Friedrich Petzel Gallery will be exhibiting Morris's new film Beijing, shot during the 2008 Olympics. Beijing observes the overwhelmingly perplexing and contradictory economy and politics of China, made all the more resonant in the current climate of the global credit crisis. The film explores the spectacle that unfolded during the opening of the 2008 Olympics. Shot from multiple perspectives and given unprecedented access by the International Olympic Committee, Beijing captures the variances within the city, from the urban routine of its citizens to the choreographed actions of various heads of state. Morris employs the notion of duality, coupling it with the constant presence of the spectacle or the event and its constant multiple interpretations. Morris's version of cinema vérité uses not only architecture and its infrastructure as phantom characters, but also exposes political leaders, Olympic athletes, actors, film directors, and architects in a quasi-narrative about this developing city that opens up numerous fictional possibilities and questions the authorship of the spectacle itself and ultimately, the role of the artist.

Morris lives and works in New York and London. She received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painting Aware in 2001, and in 1999-2000 was an American Academy Award, Berlin Prize Fellow. Morris recently has had two extensive solo exhibitions in Europe at the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt and Museo d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, where they co-produced the publication "Beijing" along with Witte de With, Rotterdam. She has extensively exhibited internationally, with solo exhibitions including Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel (2008), the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2006), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2005), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005), Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (2005), Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen (2004), Miami MOCA (2002), Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. (2002), and Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2001). She will be realizing two permanent site-specific artworks in 2010 at the Gateway School of Science in Queens with the architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed and Partners and another at K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen Museum in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is located at 535 & 537 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011. For further information, please contact the gallery at, or call (212) 680-9467.

* Sarah Morris. Art in America. December 2008