Watch Me Move Exhibition At The Barbican

‘WATCH ME MOVE’ aims to demonstrate the centrality of animation to contemporary global culture. It is the most extensive exhibition ever mounted of the full range of animated imagery produced in the last 150 years – from Snow White and Mickey Mouse to Avatar.

The exhibition brings together industry pioneers, independent film-makers and contemporary artists including Étienne-Jules Marey, Harry Smith, Jan Švankmajer, William Kentridge and Nathalie Djurberg alongside the creative output of commercial studios such as Walt Disney, Aardman, Studio Ghibli and Pixar.

Presenting animation as a highly influential force in the development of global visual culture, ‘WATCH ME MOVE’ explores the relationship between animation and film and offers a timely insight into the genre as a cultural phenomenon. Cutting across generations and cultures, the show features over 170 works, from iconic clips to lesser-known masterpieces. Taking the viewer behind the dream-world of the finished film, it includes puppets, stage sets, storyboard drawings, wire-frame visualisations, cel and background images.

Transforming the gallery into an immersive environment, the exhibition is divided into seven interconnected themes: Apparitions, Characters, Superhumans, Fables, Fragments, Structures, and Visions. Sections include early scientific experiments with photography; some of the biggest stars of our animated screens (Tom & Jerry, The Simpson); adventures of individuals with extraordinary powers (Astro Boy); stop-motion filming (Tim Burton’s Vincent); new media technologies and virtual worlds (Tron, Avatar).

The exhibition is curated by Greg Hilty, Curatorial Director at Lisson Gallery and designed by Chezweitz & Roseapple. A 224 page book accompanies the exhibition, edited by Greg Hilty and Alona Pardo, with texts by Suzanne Buchan, Greg Hilty and Paul Wells.

The exhibition will be shown at Barbican Art Gallery from 15 June 2011. From the Barbican Centre London, the exhibition will tour to Glenbow Art Museum, Calgary, Canada. From there it commences a two years tour in Asia. It is next available to future venues from January 2014.

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