Artur Żmijewski: Repetition

November 30, 2005 to February 18, 2006

Artur Żmijewski's 39-minute film Repetition (2005) is a complex and riveting documentary of his reenactment of the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. In place of college students, Żmijewski hired unemployed Polish men to enact the roles of prisoners and guards in a simulated prison environment.

Filmed with hidden cameras, their behavior quickly progresses from play acting to acts of seemingly genuine frustration and anger. Confrontations between prisoners and guards escalate ominously, but just when it seems that Żmijewski's experiment will replicate the traumatic results of the original, things take an unexpected turn in a manner that raises questions about the differences between art and science, and whether either can offer convincing conclusions about human nature.

Generous lead support for CCA Wattis Institute programs has been provided by Phyllis C. Wattis and Judy and Bill Timken. Major support has also been provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation. Additional generous support provided by Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, Ann Hatch and Paul Discoe, and the CCA Curator's Forum.