mima is proud to announce a major new exhibition A certain distance, endless light by internationally celebrated Cuban-born American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Irish artist William McKeown, a highlight of mima's continued international programme, which will be installed in the museum from 5 March 2010 to 4 July 2010.

This exhibition is co-curated by mima and AV Festival 10: Energy. Both artists answer the Festival's theme of energy in different ways. The North East-based AV Festival will launch at mima in Middlesbrough for the first time this year. The exhibition will also be the first time these artists have exhibited alongside one another. 

Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-96) is one of the most important artists of his generation. He is well-known for exploring shifting distinctions between public and private spheres: injecting political and social issues into the museum space: and re-inventing minimal and postminimal forms through the use of everyday objects, such as lightstrings, billboards, candy and stacks of paper. Gonzalez-Torres' work also bequeaths to the owner, curator and viewer of his work a great deal of creativity. For example, almost all of his lightstring pieces can be exhibited in whatever form the owner or curator desires: and viewers can take away sheets from his paper stacks. A certain distance, endless light will include six of these lightstring works, one paper stack work, and a series of billboards (installed both inside and outside in the town of Middlesbrough), which feature an image of birds flying against a background of clouds.

William McKeown (b.1962) is highly regarded for his paintings, drawings and watercolours that express his concern about our relationship with nature both outside and within. He is interested in the sky around us: the air that we exist in and our daily emergence into light. His work is poetic, expansive and captures the essence of a time and a place. It is centred around issues of beauty, happiness and freedom. The exhibition will feature an ambitious installation of some seventy monochrome watercolours entitled The Daisy Field. Accompanying this extraordinary landscape will be a contrasting room, entitled Hope, where the artist will build a temporary construction inside one of mima's galleries in order to install a single painting and a flower drawing. William McKeown had a major solo show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 2009.  

A bespoke learning and outreach programme is being developed by mima education to enhance the exhibitions including talks, events, performances, workshops and film screenings. 

The project is supported by the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, New York. 

NOTES TO EDITORS
mima Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art: 
mima is one of the UK's leading galleries for modern and contemporary art and craft. The landmark building designed by Erick van Egeraat Architects is situated in the heart of Middlesbrough. mima opened to international critical acclaim in January 2007. Hosting temporary exhibitions of fine art and craft from 1900 to the present, mima showcases work by internationally acclaimed artists. Exhibitions change throughout the year and admission is free.

AV Festival is one of the UK's largest international festivals of electronic arts. It returns to NewcastleGateshead, Middlesbrough, and Sunderland, this year (5-14 March), presenting a diverse programme of work including 24 exhibitions, 20 performances, 10 screenings, 14 talks, 4 club nights and 3 symposia, by over 100 visual artists, musicians and filmmakers, and will include 15 world premieres of new AV Festival commissions.

The theme of AV Festival 10 is energy. which is examined from a variety of different perspectives ranging from kinetic. sound, light and electromagnetic energy. to the spiritual and human. Artists include: Kenneth Anger, Bruce Conner, Gustav Metzger. Liliane Lijn, Alan Moore, Charlemagne Palestine and lain Sinclair.

AV Festival 10 is organised by Audio Visual Arts North East, an independent charitable company. AV Festival 10 forms part of North-East England's world-class programme of festivals and events, developed by culture.  

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