Bruce Conner (McPherson, Kansas, 1933 - San Francisco, 2008) is a key artist for understanding the art of the second half of the 20th century. The transversality that has defined his work, as well as the use of objects and other material remains that consumer society has rejected, have made him one of the essential figures to understand the evolution of art of the last decades.
A legendary figure both for his critical view of art history and for his reputation as the father of the music video, he has been hailed as an "artist's artist". Conner was one of the first artists to make installations with found materials and one of the pioneers of the cinematic avant-garde. Many of his first collages , assemblages and installations are made with ephemeral materials of low quality, such as nylon, wax or worn fabrics, and, therefore, their fragility has often conditioned their exhibition. Through the reuse of objects, Conner highlights the conflicts of a society that is unable to assimilate everything it has created for consumption. On the other hand, in the cinematographic field, he redefined the notion of cinema by incorporating footage from the most diverse sources to which he added sequences shot by him in 16 millimeters. The result is a political and subversive work that is expressed in different media, which makes him a transversal artist capable of moving through assemblage , drawing, painting, collage , photography and cinema.
The title of the exhibition, Light out of darkness , emphasizes the experimental nature of Conner's film production, which especially in the early phase seems like a brilliant exploration of the viewer's perceptual possibilities. The symbolic dualism of light and dark evokes the artist's tendency to think in opposites and metaphors, and also his mysticism. Light out of darkness refers to the solo exhibition project of the same title that Conner developed during the 1980s for the University Art Musem in Berkeley, California. One of the main impediments that prevented it from being carried out was Conner's refusal to yield in his relationship with the institutions, which imposed rules on artists that he considered unacceptable.
The exhibition, which can be visited until April 30, 2023, shows nine of the most representative works of Conner's experimental cinema and which are a good example of the defining elements of Conner's anarchic attitude: caustic irony, an unlimited dedication and the insistence to always distance himself as much as he could from the art market.