26 Jan - 24 March 2024, Monday to Friday, 12 - 5pm

Location: School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester Metropolitan University

Event Type: In-person

Price: Free

Preview Night: 25 January 6 – 8pm

Modal gallery at the School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester Metropolitan University is proud to present the new work of American-Belgian artist Cécile B. Evans, opening on 25 January. Evans’ work addresses the impact of the rebellion of emotions when they encounter ideological, physical, and technical structures. Weaving elements of storytelling, speculative fiction, and interactive technologies, Evans’ artworks frame questions about the fabrication of culture and reality.

Cécile B. Evans, Reality or Not, 2023, Production Still, made with Tida PN, Adam James Sinclair, Lotti V Closs

SODA is a co-commissioner for Evans’ new work Reality or Not, a film about the production and distortion of reality. In it, a group of teenage girls are asked to participate in a reality show about building their own reality. We also meet a former Real Housewives star turned hacker using a livestream platform to operate an anti-imperialist bling ring, a stealthy butterfly, a statue furious with its status as a symbol (based on an Iceni tribal leader), and a collective of rejected renders, among others.

Cécile B. Evans, Reality or Not, 2023, Production Still

The storyline refutes linear narrative, with scenes connecting different realties across the entire work. In keeping with the films theme of reality production, and SODA as a site of production, MODAL will be exhibiting a breakdown of 5 scenes from the finished film, each accompanied by a commentary from Evans and various team members. There will be a single screening of the entire film in the SODA Cinema space during the exhibition – date to be announced.

Cécile B. Evans, Reality or Not, 2023, Production Still

A co-production with Fondazione MAST & Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Bologna; Lafayette Anticipations, Paris; Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; La Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains; Tourcoing.

Support from School of Digital Arts (SODA), Manchester; Sandra Murail.

Cécile B. Evans, Reality or Not, 2023, Production Still

Additional support from Louvre, Paris; Aéroport de Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle, Roissy-en-France; Arts at CERN, Geneva; DAAC Créteil in association with the Lycée Suger, Saint-Denis; LAYR, Vienna; Chateau Shatto, Los Angeles.

About the Artist

Evans’ work examines the value of emotion and its rebellion as it comes into contact with ideological, physical, and technological structures. They are currently working on a new performance commission for the MOVE festival at Centre Pompidou Paris (FR).

Recent selected solo exhibitions include 49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine (FR), Museum Abteiberg (DE), Tramway (UK), Chateau Shatto (US), Museo Madre (IT), mumok Vienna (AT), Castello di Rivoli (IT), Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna (AT), Tate Liverpool (UK), Kunsthalle Aarhus (DK), M Museum Leuven (BE), De Hallen Haarlem (NL), and Serpentine Galleries (UK). Evans’ work has been included amongst others at Whitechapel Gallery (UK), Haus der Kunst (DE), Mito Art Tower (JP), Renaissance Society Chicago (US), the 7th International Moscow Biennale (RU), the 4th Ural Industrial Biennial (RU), Galerie Kamel Mennour (FR), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen (DK), the 9th Berlin Biennale (DE), the 20th Sydney Biennale (AUS), Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (ES), and Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (FR). Evans’ films have been screened in festivals such as the New York Film Festival and Rotterdam International. Public collections include The Museum of Modern Art, New York (US), The Rubell Family Collection, Miami (US), Whitney Museum of American Art (US), De Haallen (NL), Castello di Rivoli, Turin (IT), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen (DK), and FRAC Auvergne (FR).

Curatorial Team

Valentino Catricalà
Thomas Dukes