The Decameron Retold

 

Videos

The Decameron Retold (after Cymon and Iphigenia, Benjamin West)
2019, 4K video, 8:32 min, Edition 3

The Decameron Retold (after The Decameron, John William Waterhouse)
2019, 4K video, 5:12 min, Edition 3

The Decameron Retold (after II Decamerone, Severin Falkman)
2019, 4K video, 5:48 min, Edition of 3

 

The Decameron Retold (after Isabella and the Pot of Basil, William Holman Hunt)
2019, 4K video, 5:44 min, Edition 3

The Decameron Retold (after Cymon and Iphigenia, Frederic Leighton)
2019, 4K video, 4:43 min, Edition 3

Pierre-François Ouellete Art Contemporain and Equinox Gallery are very pleased to co-present Adad Hannah’s newest project: The Decameron Retold. For this project, Adad Hannah has created a series of photographs and video tableaux vivants (living pictures) entitled based on the 14th century literary work The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. The medieval collection of novellas is comprised of one hundred tales told over ten days by ten young women and men sequestered in a villa outside of Florence in order to escape the Black Plague.

Using Boccaccio’s frame narrative as the departure point, these photographs and videos are a genre of performance featuring costumed models remaining as still as possible. A popular pastime in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the static scenes often replicated paintings. For this exhibition, Hannah selected five paintings with references to The Decameron to base his video works on: Cymon and Iphigenia, 1773 by Benjamin West; Cymon and Iphigenia, 1884 by Frederic Leighton; Isabella and the Pot of Basil, 1866-68 by William Holman Hunt; Il Decamerone, 1870 by Severin Falkman; and The Decameron, 1916 by John William Waterhouse.

The elements in the exhibition were built, painted, and sewn with volunteer community members who also participated as models and contributed stories to lay over The Decameron’s structure. All the components of The Decameron Retold were built in the Richmond Art Gallery during the month of January 2019. This project continues to expand Hannah’s improvisational approach to production and community engagement.

Hannah is well known for his photographic and video works that explore the performative and cinematic potential of tableaux vivants. He has produced community-based projects around the world, from Senegal to Australia, the United States, and across Canada. This is his largest-scale community project to date.

The Decameron Retold was commissioned by curator Nan Campogna at the Richmond Art Gallery.

This project was produced with the generous assistance of:

Russ Bonin, Nicole Callanta, Nicoleta Capota, Jeni Chen, Joni Cheung, Greg Chin, Viven Chiu,Tony Chu, Wade Comer, Carola Compá, Beth Davies, Melanie Devoy, Trudi Egerton Ball, Noah Friebel, Maisha Haque, Jenny Ho, Marisa Holmes, Phoebe Huang, Shizen Jambor, Liesl Jauk, Haelim Kim, Megan Lane, Yumeng Li, Jacky Lo, Judy Lo, Shelby Lu, Shawne MacIntyre, Marita Mätas, Jennifer Mawby, Gail Newell, SheldonNider, David Nyugen, Lisa Ochowycz, Camille Owens, Angel Pan, Amy Poon, Hiron Poon, Gustavo Prediger, Mateo Prediger, Quentin Qiu, Leah Ringwald, Trig Singer, Peter Smith, Nomi Stricker, Sophie Su, TAGOR (Textile Arts Guild of Richmond), Brendan Tang, Theo Terry, Rachelle Tjahyana, Adam Van Steinburg, Graeme Wahn, Suzanne Ward,Jenny Wong, Beryl Woodrow, Gloria Yang, Jessie Yu, Shirley Yung, Sylvia Zhi, and Kelly Zhong.


Photographs

The Decameron Retold (after Cymon and Iphigenia, Benjamin West)
2019, archival pigment print
SMALL 26” x 34.5”, MEDIUM 39” x 52”, LARGE 52” x 69.25” All sizes combined edition of 5

The Decameron Retold (after Cymon and Iphigenia, Benjamin West)
2019, archival pigment print
SMALL 26” x 34.5”, MEDIUM 39” x 52”, LARGE 52” x 69.25” All sizes combined edition of 5

The Decameron Retold (after Isabella and the Pot of Basil, William Holman Hunt)
2019, archival pigment print
SMALL 38.5” x 23.25”, MEDIUM 58” x 35”, LARGE 77.25” x 46.5” All sizes combined edition of 5

The Decameron Retold (after The Decameron, John William Waterhouse)
2019, archival pigment print
SMALL 24” x 37.25”, MEDIUM 36” x 56”, LARGE 48” x 74.5” All sizes combined edition of 5

The Decameron Retold (after II Decamerone, Severin Falkman)
2019, archival pigment print
SMALL 25” x 36”, MEDIUM 37.5” x 54”, LARGE 50” x 72” All sizes combined edition of 5

 

Production Images