David Cronenberg – The Exhibition
From 22 June through 14 September, EYE presented a major exhibition focusing on director David Cronenberg, who acquired cult status with his idiosyncratic films about the relationship between body, mind, technology and mass media. The exhibition explored Cronenberg’s world through the main themes of his films: the physical and psychological transformation of his protagonists.
Highlights of this exhibition included the weird and wonderful special effects items from Cronenberg’s films, together with bizarre props, set photos and original costumes. Cronenberg has worked with famous actors such as Jeff Goldblum, Keira Knightley, Holly Hunter, Jude Law, Jeremy Irons and Robert Pattinson, whom he challenged to push the boundaries of their profession.
In the series of exhibitions devoted to great narrative directors such as Kubrick and Fellini, EYE presented David Cronenberg – The Exhibition. Cronenberg (Toronto, 1943) acquired a true cult status as ‘master of horror’ with the movies Shivers (1975) and Rabid (1977). With Videodrome (1983) Cronenberg became one of the first filmmakers to focus on the – devastating – influence of mass media on humanity, and he sets out his vision on the extent to which the body can be affected by technology. Videodrome, re-released by EYE in digital format in the summer of 2014, is an exploration of the dangers of reality TV and a scathing – and prophetic – critique of our contemporary media culture. His work is still very relevant in the current age of large-scale technological developments, often with unprecedented effects on the human psyche.
about the exhibition
David Cronenberg – The Exhibition explored Cronenberg’s world through the key themes of his films: the physical and psychological transformation of his characters. The highlights of the exhibition comprised important objects and attributes from Cronenberg’s films, including photos, audiovisual fragments, artwork, set design and props, such as the helmet from Videodrome (1983), the game consoles from eXistenZ (1999), the surgical instruments from Dead Ringers (1988), the leg braces from Crash (1996), the typewriters from Naked Lunch (1991) and the Telepod from The Fly (1986). But above all, the display included unique and bizarre special effects attributes, the scientific precision and artistic quality of which make them the jewels of the exhibition. Following the presentation in Toronto, the first port of call for this touring exhibition was Amsterdam, with a completely new exhibition design by Claus Wiersma.
David Cronenberg – The Exhibition, curated by TIFF’s CEO & Director Piers Handling and former Artistic Director Noah Cowan, is produced for EYE in collaboration with TIFF and came to Europe for the first time.
- Director of exhibitions: Jaap Guldemond
- Associate curator: Marente Bloemheuvel
- Project managers: Claartje Opdam, Sanne Baar
- Exhibition design: Claus Wiersma
- Graphic design: Joseph Plateau
- Technical production: Indyvideo
- Installation: Landstra & De Vries
films, talks, events
The exhibition was accompanied by the screening of all eighteen feature films by Cronenberg and his short films. In three themes, the program outlined Cronenberg’s views on the influence of technology and science on the interplay between mind and body.