EXHIBITION DATES: 01/21/2021 - 09/30/2021



ARTIST WEBSITE: Agnès Guillaume, John Sanborn

836M Gallery in San Francisco is proud to finally present a pair of artists they have been hoping to work with for some time: Agnès Guillaume, who works out of both Paris and Brussels, and John Sanborn, who operates out of Berkeley. Each artist will show two works that contrast their different approaches to their shared art form, video. While one is more a minimalist (Guillaume) and the other a maximalist (Sanborn), both prefer suggestion and seduction as a means of embracing ambiguity in place of directly answering essential questions.

The two artists met in Paris when each had gallery shows going on at the same time that coincidentally both featured works about Adam and Eve. They became friends and decided to collaborate on a show that ultimately became All Roads Lead at 836M.

You can listen to an interview with the artists on San Francisco’s public radio station KALW here.



A former musician Agnès Guillaume turned to video art in 2010. She produces videos, mixed media works, and embroideries. She sees her videos as mirrors reflecting intimacy that also function as poetic forms that ponder self-awareness. They imply the consistency of several internal realities that the spectator is invited to recognize, appropriate and share. Against any certainty or single mindset, the videos are a call to an open-minded, critical, and personal gaze.

The recipient of growing international recognition, her work has been shown in venues such as the Petit Palais – the Fine Arts Museum of the City of Paris, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Nuit Blanche 2020, Videoforme, ArtBrussels, and Contemporary Istanbul. You can also find Guillaume’s work in several public and private collections.

Agnès Guillaume lives in both Paris and Brussels.

“In her videos, as well as in her embroideries, Agnès Guillaume speaks only of us, humans. Not an abstract, transcendent, invented humanity, giving substance to an idealized conception of our condition. Humans who are all too human, in Nietzsche’s phrase… In the age of speed, the permanent state of acceleration that we live in, this type of visual endeavor nails its colors to the mast: art is an idiom that demands and deserves attention.”—Paul Ardenne, Art Historian, and Writer

“Video art is to short films what poetry is to novels: narrative gives way to the visionary”— Christophe Leribault, Director of the Petit Palais Fine Arts Museum of the City of Paris.

John Sanborn is a crucial member of the second wave of American video artists, including BillViola, Gary Hill, Dara Birnbaum, and Tony Oursler. Sanborn’s career spans the early days of experimental video art in the 1970s through the heyday of 80’sMTV music/videos and 90’s interactive art to digital media art of today.

Sanborn’s work has manifested itself on television (Alive from Off Center, MTV, Great Performances on PBS, Comedy Central), as video installations (at the Whitney Museum, The Kitchen, Videoformes, ZKM), video games (for EA, MMG), Internet experiences (MGM Interactive, Microsoft, Jeu de Paume) and music/videos (with Rick James, Van Halen, Nile Rodgers, Grace Jones, King Crimson, Tangerine Dream, Philip Glass). He is known for collaborations with virtuosic performers, contemporary composers, and choreographers. His oeuvre primarily addresses the themes of music, mythology, and memory as he pursues his elusive sense of NOT ME.

Vanity Fair called him “the acknowledged genius in the field,” the NY Times says his work is “…rarely predictable and always absorbing”; and both the New Yorker and Rolling Stone praised his recent work as “mind-blowing.”

Projects from 2019 – 2020 include live video/theater performances of God in 3 Persons, a collaboration with The Residents, at MoMA NY; commissions from the National Museum of Qatar (the permanent installation Alchemy) and Jeu de Paume, Paris (NONSELF); solo exhibitions at Galerie Tokomona, Paris and Telematic, San Francisco; and digital editions of single-channel works released through (s)edition.

Sanborn’s works have been shown at numerous contemporary art venues in the world, including the Whitney Museum; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Prado, Madrid; ZKM, Karlsruhe; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Videoformes, France, the Tate Modern, London; and Seibu Museum, Tokyo. Sanborn’s linear works have played at the New York Film Festival. The Mill Valley Film Festival, Sundance, the Toronto Film Festival, and London Film Festival. His video works have been broadcast worldwide, including programs featuring Bill T. Jones, Robert Ashely, Philip Glass, Nam June Paik, Twyla Tharp, Mikhail Baryshnikov, The Residents, and David Gordon.

John Sanborn holds an honorary Master of Cinema degree from ESEC in Paris and was honored as a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the Minister of Culture for the Republic of France. Sanborn’s YouTube channel has over 20 million views and over 110,000 subscribers. In 2017, the Mill Valley Film Festival honored him with its lifetime achievement award. John Sanborn lives in Berkeley, California.


The surreal video works prompt the viewer to ask deeper questions about what they see onscreen.

On View Now: Agnès Guillaume’s ‘Souls’ at 836M

April 16, 2021

A resident of Paris and Brussels, the works of the former operatic singer have been curated by the cream of Francophone Europe’s art establishment….

As a runaway artist: Agnes Guillaume at Sanatorium in Istanbul

March 28, 2021

836M gallery in San Francisco is proud to finally present a pair of artists they have been hoping to work with for some time; Agnès Guillaume lives…

Exhibition: All Roads Lead @836M

February 10, 2021

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts in Times of Corona, we raise the virtual curtain of…

Word for Word: Forster’s ‘The Machine Stops’, part III – Video artist John Sanborn – Peter Robinson

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