New works by Neïl Beloufa featured in "Counting on People" at Walter Phillips Gallery

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Counting on People 
Neïl Beloufa
November 8, 2014 – March 1, 2015

Walter Phillips Gallery (107 Tunnel Mountain Drive Banff, Alberta, Canada) 
banffcentre.ca/wpg | @walterphillipsgallery | facebook.com/visualartsatthebanffcentre 

Banff, Alberta, October 5, 2014  – Walter Phillips Gallery, in collaboration with the Institute for Contemporary Arts (ICA), London, presents an exhibition of new work by the French and Algerian artist Neïl Beloufa. Combining video and sculptural elements, the works in Counting on People reflect on the ways in which society and our interpersonal relationships are highly influenced by changing digital technology. It is Beloufa’s first North American solo exhibition.

“Neïl is an important young contemporary artist, and it has been fantastic working with him to develop this new body of work! This exhibition will challenge the audience’s perception of sculptural and video artwork. We are thrilled to be partnering with the ICA, London to present this exhibition, where it is simultaneously being staged – an incredible task for both galleries and artist,” says Jen Mizuik, director of visual and digital art at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Counting on People is the North American premiere of two new films co-commissioned by Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre, and the ICA. Filmed in Banff, the first film, Data for Desire (2014) seeks to explore and predict, via statistical analysis, the romantic actions of a group of North American teenagers at a house party, highlighting the unpredictable nature of attraction.

The theme of desire continues in Home is Whenever I’m With You (2014). This science fiction drama reflects on the ways we communicate via social media, and how these developments in technology change how we receive information. Home is Whenever I’m With You was filmed in Banff and Calgary.

Two of Beloufa’s previous works are also included in the exhibition: VENGEANCE (2014) documents the artist’s collaboration with secondary school students in a suburb of Paris; and World Domination (2012) depicts a geopolitical role-play where members of the public meet and make decisions about local and international issues.

Beloufa puts the viewer at the heart of his exhibition arrangements, offering familiar images of the world while deconstructing their codes, symbols, myths, and economic systems.

Walter Phillips Gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12:30 until 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 12:30 until 8 p.m. Public tours are offered every Thursday at 7 p.m. Group tours of exhibitions may be arranged. Please call Walter Phillips Gallery at 403.762.6281 for additional information or to arrange an appointment.

For more information about current exhibitions at Walter Phillips Gallery, visit banffcentre.ca/wpg

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About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Over 8,000 artists, leaders, and researchers from across Canada and around the world participate in programs at Banff Centre every year. Through its multidisciplinary programming, Banff Centre provides them with the support they need to create, to develop solutions, and to make the impossible possible.  

About the artist: The French and Algerian artist Neïl Beloufa (b. 1985) lives and works in Paris. Having studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris; the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; California Institute of the Arts, Valencia; Cooper Union, New York; and Le Fresnoy–Studio National des Arts Contemporain, Tourcoing,  he has gone on to exhibit internationally in contemporary art institutions as well as in film festivals. Recent solo exhibitions of his work have taken place at the Mendes Wood Gallery, Sao Paolo (2014); Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard, Paris (2014); the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2013); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012) Kunstraum Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria (2012) and Western Front, Vancouver (2011).  His videos have been screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (2011); the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2009, 2012, 2014); and the London Film Festival (2009, 2010, 2011), and he was awarded grand prizes at the 54th (2008) and 57th (2011) Oberhausen Film Festival, Oberhausen. Beloufa has been the recipient of several awards, including the Audi Talent Award, Paris (2011), the Studio Collector prize by Agnes B. (2011) and most recently the Meurice Prize for Contemporary Art (2013).