Marcel Dzama

A Game of Chess

2011
Marcel Dzama's videos, drawings, sculptures and installations present worlds populated by surreal characters and intonations of violence and folly, regulated by dissonant narratives. A "Game of Chess" is a lyrical take on the classic game, which was influential for many artists of the early twentieth-century avant-garde who "employ[ed] the rules and moves of the game as metaphors for larger questions regarding free will, destiny and technological determinism." Set in Mexico and making specific reference to Oskar Schlemmer's "Triadic Ballet" (1922), Dzama's video presents the game as a consequential struggle between life and death, complacency and revolution, set in the otherwise sleepy backstreets of Guadalajara.
Artist
Title
A Game of Chess
Date
2011
Medium
Time-Based Media
Materials
digital video disk (DVD), 14:02 minutes, and diorama (wooden box containing paper maquettes and drawings)
Dimensions
installation dimensions variable; diorama: 23.5 x 29.2 x 13.7 cm
Nationality
Canadian
Credit line
Purchased 2012
Accession number
45530