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La Freewaves:

La Freewaves:New Videos by Oliver Ressler

November 5 - December 17, 2006

Opening Reception: Sunday, November 5, 5-7 PM

“LA Freewaves: New Videos by Oliver Ressler” will present two recent films by Oliver Ressler—the United States premiere of Ressler’s newest film, The Fittest Survive, and 5 Factories: Worker Control in Venezuela, a 2006 collaboration between Ressler and Dario Azzellini that will represent the film’s second United States showing.

Oliver Ressler is an internationally exhibiting video artist. Since 1994 he has been concerned with theme specific exhibitions, projects in public spaces, and issues of racism, migration, genetic engineering, economics, forms of resistance, and social alternatives. Many of Ressler’s works are realized as collaborations: the ongoing project Boom! with the U.S.-artist David Thorne, the videos Venezuela from Below and Disobbedienti with the political analyst Dario Azzellini, and numerous projects on racism and migration with artist Martin Krenn. Oliver Ressler was born in Knittelfeld, Austria, in 1970, and lives and works in Vienna.

The Fittest Survive consists of footage filmed during a five-day “Surviving Hostile Regions” training course by the AKE Group in January 2006 in Wales, Great Britain. The course instructors are British ex-special force soldiers and the participants are mainly business people, government officials, and mainstream journalists who are preparing for work in Iraq and other dangerous regions. Primarily filmed by hand camera, the video follows the survival-course participants as they experience the staged reality of live shell bombardments, an assault by armed guerrillas, the rescue of accident victims, and moving through mine fields. Above this training camp in Wales, low-flying British fighter planes hold maneuvers and foreshadow the real war theatres the class participants may soon encounter.  The Fittest Survive consists of footage filmed during a five-day “Surviving Hostile Regions” training course by the AKE Group in January 2006 in Wales, Great Britain. The course instructors are British ex-special force soldiers and the participants are mainly business people, government officials, and mainstream journalists who are preparing for work in Iraq and other dangerous regions. Primarily filmed by hand camera, the video follows the survival-course participants as they experience the staged reality of live shell bombardments, an assault by armed guerrillas, the rescue of accident victims, and moving through mine fields. Above this training camp in Wales, low-flying British fighter planes hold maneuvers and foreshadow the real war theatres the class participants may soon encounter.

5 Factories: Worker Control in Venezuela documents the changes in Venezuela’s productive sphere as demonstrated by five large companies in various regions: a textile company, aluminum works, a tomato factory, a cocoa factory, and a paper factory. In all, the workers are struggling for different forms of co- or self-management supported in part by the government. The protagonists portrayed at the five production locations present insights into ways of alternative organizing and models of workers’ control. The film examines mechanisms and difficulties of self-organization and strategies of different production processes.

LA Freewaves facilitates cross-cultural dialogues by inventing dynamic new media exhibition forms at experimental and established venues throughout Los Angeles. With its 10th biennial festival of film, video, and experimental new media art, Freewaves launches "Too Much Freedom?" in early November at venues across Los Angeles. The festival, of which Pomona College is part, presents over 150 artists, selected by 10 international curators, and opens officially at the UCLA Hammer Museum on November 3. LA Freewaves is building one of the largest online archives and Internet new media resources and also presents local workshops and develops educational material, advocating creation and access to ground breaking alternative media.

This exhibition at Pomona College is organized by Rebecca McGrew, Curator of Pomona College Museum of Art, and Leah Emkin, LA Freewaves assistant and Claremont Graduate University student.

Artist’s website: http://www.ressler.at/

www.freewaves.org