25 May 2010

A SCREENING OF SHORT FILMS

White Slab Palace
77 Delancy Street @ Allen Street
New York City

Mel Brooks, The Critic, 1963

For the ongoing seriesYOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE AN HOUR AGO a series of performance, film, and interruption.

Kunstverein NY presents an evening of short films by a contingent of intergenerational artists, filmmakers, and directors: Mel BrooksMaliea CroyKathryn GarciaAnthony GravesTom JarmuschAndres LaracuenteDana LevyMarie LosierGuy MaddinShana Moulton, Sterling RubyJustin Swinburne, and J. Patrick Walsh. Co-organized with students from NYU, Natalie Labriola and Salome Asega.

To announce the 1929 early-Soviet nationalist film The Man With the Movie Camera, Dziga Vertov, calling himself the ‘author-supervisor of the experiment’, stated: “This film presents an experiment in the cinematic communication of visible events.  Without the aid of intertitles.  Without the aid of a scenario.  Without the aid of theater.”  The silent film that followed used the day-to-day life of Moscow as its backdrop, and the camera as the audience’s avatar – an eye with which the viewer could intrude, chase, provoke, catalog, and even reflect on the act of watching the film itself.

The films selected for the present screening produce an alternate eye for the audience with the camera, and as such resemble gestures in Vertov’s masterpiece. Shifting between systems of surveillance, agency, and narrative, or even disposing of the camera-eye relationship altogether, these films create a situation where the subjects’ identities are realized through looking.

J. Patrick Walsh uses a pan-and-scan technique to construct a portrait located between stasis and movement. Maliea Croy considers landscape, identity and fantasy, while Justin Swinburne combines filmic portraiture and the pastoral, and Andres Laracuente presents watching as an imagined action.  Dana Levy invades an institution with a legion of birds, alongside Anthony Graves’s consideration of the eye and the monument.  Shana Moulton invites viewers on an odyssey of realization with psycadellic side effects while Mel Brooks humorously breaks the barrier between narrative and abstraction.

Kathryn Garcia uses the camera as voyeur and interpretor where gender distinctions and sexual normativity are questioned.  Marie Losier captures the dialogical with a preview of her documentary chronicle of the life and love story between Genesis P-Orridge and Lady Jayne, and Tom Jarmusch screens a three-shot filmGuy Maddin uses the mechanisms of propaganda filmmaking to address repression and heroics, while Sterling Ruby combines essay and color to a tactile effect, exploring the construction of the other.

The screening will take place at White Slab Palace on   at 8pm with a brief discussion to follow.

About the Artists …
Mel Brooks (b.1926) is from Brooklyn, NY.   A son of a Russian Jewish family, Brooks grew to be a master of movie satire and one of Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers.  Working for years simultaneously as a writer, comedian, producer, actor, and director, he was one of the few people to win an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony award.  Brooks is known primarily for wide-release satirical releases such as The Producers (1968), Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974), History of the World, Part I (1981), Spaceballs (1987) and Robin Hood, Men in Tights (1993), andDracula: Dead and Loving It (1995) among others.  However Brooks has also produced a collection of dramatic films under the company “Brooksfilms,” including David Lynch’s The Elephant Man (1980), David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986), Frances (1982), and 84 Charing Cross Road (1987).   Most recently, Brooks created a hugely successful Broadway musical version of The Producers, winning him one Grammy and 12 Tony awards.

Maliea Croy (b. 1986) received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  She has recently shown work in Chicago, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as at events for the True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri.  Additionally, she has co-organized a traveling exhibition in West Africa featuring artists from the predominantly Christian Ghana and their Muslim neighbors to the north, Burkina Faso, in the winter of 2008.  Croy currently lives and works in Oakland and San Francisco, California.

Kathryn Garcia (b. 1978 in Los Angeles) lives and works in New York.  She explores sexuality, gender, perversion and identity in her work, while her recent drawings challenge psychoanalysis in relationship to art history. She has exhibited her work in international galleries and institutions that include Second Floor, The Project, Gavin Brown Gallery, and Rivington Arms, andBrooklyn is Burning, all in New York; chime & co., Otero Plassart, and Jail Gallery, all in Los Angeles; Candela Gallery in Puerto Rico; and Peres Projects in Berlin.

Anthony Graves (b. 1975) is an artist and writer based in Ithaca and Brooklyn, New York.  In 2009 he received an MFA from Cornell University, and  from 2004-2005 he was a fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program.  He has exhibited at international galleries and institutions that include Artists Space, Exit Art, and Art in General, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, all in New York; Oni Gallery, Boston; and Art of the Overhead in Copenhagen. He is a recent recipient (as Camel Collective) of the Danish Arts Council’s International Visual Arts (DIVA) residency grant, co-sponsored by KRAN Film Collective, and he will be participating in the upcoming exhibition Modifications at the Århus Kunstbygning in November 2010.  As well, he is a visiting lecturer at Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning.

Tom Jarmusch is a New York artist and filmmaker who works in film, video, installation, and photography.  He has participated in international film festivals that include the Rotterdam International Film Festival in Holland; the New York Underground Film Festival in New York; the BBC Short Film Festival in London; the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland; the Paris Underground film Festival, and the Rencontre Internationales Paris/Berlin, both in Paris; and the Chicago Underground Film Festival, among others.  In 2001 completed a video collaboration with James Nares and Fabienne Gautier for Phil Kline’s opera Into the Fire.  Jarmusch has been awarded grants from the Andrea Frank Foundation, IngenuityFest, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.  As an actor he has appeared in Johnny Suede (1991) and Living in Oblivion (1995), both by Tom DiCillo; as well as The Golden Boat (1990), by Raul Ruiz.  He has served as Art Director, Prop Master, and in the Locations department for directors that include Robert Frank, Claire Denis, Aki Kaurismaki, Ang Lee, Michael Almereyda, and his brother Jim Jarmusch.  He is currently completing his first feature length film Sometimes City, which will premier at Anthology Film Archives in the fall of 2010.

Andres Laracuente (b. 1982) is a New York artist working primarily with moving image, performance, sculpture and photography.  He graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006, and he has presented work at international venues that include P.S.1 MoMa in New York; Autocenter in Berlin; Projet Midi in Brussels; the National Gallery of Arts in Albania; and Brown Gallery in London; and Galerie Yukiko Kawase in Paris.  Laracuente has participated as a panelist at MIT 5 international conference, moderated by Bill Arning.

Dana Levy was born in Tel Aviv, Israel.  She received her Post graduate at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, Scotland and her BA in Visual Art from Camberwell College of Art in London. She received the Young Israeli artist award in 2008.  Levy has shown in international galleries and institutions that include Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, and Smack Mellon, both in New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland; Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia; Harbes and Partner Gallery in Vienna; Tavi Dresdner Gallery in Tel Aviv; Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa, Israel; the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; the Jewish Museum in Amsterdam; and OK Center for Contemporary Art in Linz.  She hasparticipated in major international film festivals, and taken part in artist residencies in Austria, Italy, Finland and the US..  Levy lives and works in New York and Tel Aviv.

Marie Losier (b. 1972, France) is a filmmaker and curator working in New York City. She studied literature at the University of Nanterre in France, and Fine Art in New York City.  She has made a number of film portraits on avant-garde directors, musicians and composers such as Mike and George Kuchar, Guy Maddin, Richard Foreman, Tony Conrad and Genesis P-Orridge. Her films are regularly shown at international film festivals and museums that include the Tate Modern, the British Film Institute, both in London; the Tribeca Film Festival; the 2006 Whitney Biennial, the Whitney Museum, PS.1, and MoMA, LUXE Gallery, Andrew Kreps Gallery, White Columns, and Anthology Film Archives, all in New York; the Wexner Art Center in Ohio; The Berlin Film Festival in Berlin; The International Film Festival in Rotterdam; the Lausanne Film Festival in Switzerland; and The Cinemathèque Francaise, and the Centre George Pompidou in Paris.  Losier has programmed experimental film at the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema, and Ocularis in New York.  She is also the film curator at the Alliance Française in New York, where she presents a weekly film series and has hosted many notable directors and artists, including Raoul Coutard, William Klein, Claire Denis, Chantal Akerman, Jane Birkin, and Jeanne Moreau.

Guy Maddin (b. 1956) is a Canadian filmmaker whose work gives reference to the style of Weimar Berlin-era films and propaganda cinema of early-Soviet filmmaking.  He has made over ten feature films, including Tales from the Gimli Hospital (1988); and Archangel (1990), which won the U.S. National Film Critics Award for Best Experimental Film of the Year.  Since then he has won numerous film awards that include the Telluride Silver Medal for life Achievement in 1995; an Emmy for his ballet movie Dracula – Pages from a virgin’s Diary (2002); and the San Francisco International Film Festival’s prestigious Persistence of Vision Award in 2006, among others.  With his more recent series of feature length films, including The Saddest Music in the World (2003), Brand Upon the Brain (2006), and My Winnipeg (2007), Maddin continues to inhabit the aesthetic of early silent filmmaking, while investigation notions of memory, gender, and even the mechanisms of the film itself.  Maddin is a frequent contributor to Film Comment Magazine and the Village Voice Film Section, as well the Distinguished Filmmaker in Residence at the University of Manitoba, where he teaches.

Shana Moulton is a New York artist who creates evocatively oblique narratives in her video and performance works that combine an unsettling, wry humor with a low-tech, and Pop sensibility, initiating relationships with objects and consumer products that are at once banal and uncanny.  Moulton studied at the University of California in Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where she received her MFA.  She has also recently attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine, and studied at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Her video work has been screened and exhibited internationally, including The Kitchen, Canada Gallery, Bellwether Gallery, Art in General, Migrating Forms film festival at Anthology Film Archives, The Armory Show Art Fair, and Smack Mellon, all in New York; Loop ’05 Video Festival in Barcelona; Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin in Paris; Aurora in Edinburgh; the Dark Light Festival in Dublin; Impakt Festival in Utrecht; and Internationale Kurzfilmtage in Oberhausen.

Sterling Ruby (b.1972) lives and works in Los Angeles. He holds a BFA from The Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena CA.  He has exhibited internationally at galleries and institutions that include MoMA, and The Drawing Center, both in New York; ICA in Philadelphia; GAMeC in Bergamo, Italy; Bergen Kunsthall in Norway; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing; and The Moscow Biennale.

Justin Swinburne (b. 1985) is a Southern California artist who has recently been involved in exhibitions at The Forgotten Bar Project in Berlin; Co-lab Gallery in Copenhagen; Important Projects in Oakland; and Monument 2 in Chicago.

J. Patrick Walsh (b. 1981) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn NY. He has exhibited and performed at P.S.1 MoMa, D’Amelio Terras, John Connelly Presents, and The Brucennial 2010, all in New York; Wildness in Los Angeles; and Art of This Gallery in Minneapolis.  He is the Editor of Busters Magazine and performs with the band Wet Ropes.  He graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and is a 2012 MFA Candidate at the University of Southern California.

With special thanks to White Slab Palace, and PLaAD - www.lovePLaAD.com

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