“Self-styled poetess, folk goddess and country waif, Pieta’s music resonates with a seductive simplicity and lyrical grace.” —BBC
Grab a blanket and meet us on the hillside for Sound for Silents, an electrifying evening of live music paired with films from the Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection. Returning for its sixth year, this summer’s program will feature a newly commissioned score from ethereal Iowa City–based singer-songwriter Pieta Brown & The Taken (featuring Ben Lester, Davu Seru, and Jeremy Ylvisaker). The event begins at 7 pm with DJ tunes by Diane Miller, host of the Current’s Local Show. Food trucks will be on-site. Film screening and live performance begin at 8:30 pm.
This Land is Your Music
The indie-songstress blends her love of film soundtracks, folk songs, and experimental soundscapes in a program titled This Land is Your Music. Brown’s compelling and visually stunning meditation on the connections between people, land, and music weaves her sounds throughout 65 minutes of films mostly by women, including the Ukrainian-born luminary Maya Deren, Minneapolis-based filmmakers Sheryl Mousley and Rini Yun Keagy, award-winning artists Kelly Gallagher and Sama Alshaibi, and others.
The event begins at 7 pm with DJ tunes and food trucks; film screening and live performance begin at 8:30 pm.
About the Artist
Songwriter and performer Pieta Brown has been celebrated not only for her distinct sound and style but also for the remarkable power of her music and songwriting. Her acclaimed albums include fan favorite Paradise Outlaw (2014, Red House) and Freeway (2019, Righteous Babe), which was coproduced by Bon Iver drummer S. Carey. Brown has toured with Mark Knopfler, John Prine, Amos Lee, Brandi Carlisle, JJ Cale, Ani Difranco, Mavis Staples, and Calexico, among others, and has cowritten songs with—and made guest appearances on albums by—Calexico, Amos Lee, and Iris Dement. In the past few years, Brown’s work has been featured in various TV shows and films, including Everything Will Be Fine (2015, Wim Wenders). Her most recent experimental collaborations include projects with JT Bates, S.Carey, and Howe Gelb & The Colorist Orchestra. With each new project, Brown’s music and artistry continue to rise.
About the Films
At Land by Maya Deren
The protagonist (Deren) navigates her own psyche as she traverses a disorienting landscape. 1944, US, 16mm to digital, 15 min., Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection.
Mississippi Galaxy by Sheryl Mousley
This lyrical film explores the flowing Mississippi River reflecting the light around its banks and the sky above. 1981, US, 16mm to digital, 4 min., Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection.
Land of Enchantment by Jeanne Liotta
A Kodachrome Super 8 home movie encounters the New Mexico landscape with a compass and a young child. 1994, US, Super 8 to digital, 3 min.
Faze by Linda Klosky
Pointing the camera out a moving train window provides a flickering Midwest landscape. 1975, US, 16mm to digital, 8 min., Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection.
Edison Highway by Rini Yun Keagy
A contemplative portrait reveals the local landscape along Bakersfield, California’s Edison Highway and the Mojave Subdivision railroad line amid farms, oil derricks, vineyards, fruit depots, gas stations, solar fields, power lines, food processing plants, and an RV park. 2022, US, digital, 5 min.
Love Shots by Allen Downs
Downs sprinkles time-lapsed scenes of family life throughout shots of mountainous Mexico and lush Minnesota summer landscapes. 1971, US, 16mm to digital, 8 min., Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection.
Four Corners by Peter Bundy
Desert landscapes punctuate Bundy’s rare atmospheric film with subtle command. 1983, US, 16mm to digital, 4 min., Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection.
Color Field by Sandra Dyas
Turning circles in a field of dandelions takes a playful spin on summer. 2018, US, digital, 1 min.
Pennsylvania by Kelly Gallagher
Hand-painted frames of 16mm film portray the artist’s sentiments about returning home to Pennsylvania. 2013, US, 16mm to digital, 2 min.
Sweep by Sama Alshaibi
A woman in a black dress and veil sweeps away her footsteps in a desert landscape, referencing historical contexts that articulate definitions of exploitation and freedom. 2009, US/Iraq, digital, 5 min.
Total run time 65 minutes.
About the Filmmakers
Sama Alshaibi’s photographs and videos situate her own body as a site of performance in consideration of the social and gendered impacts of war and migration. In 2021, Alshaibi was named a Guggenheim Fellow in Photography.
Peter Bundy, the late Minnesota-based filmmaker, had a long career as professor of film at Carleton College before discovering a new passion for land management and forest restoration. He authored several books on the subject.
Maya Deren was a Ukrainian-born American experimental filmmaker, choreographer, dancer, photographer, writer, and avid promoter of the avant-garde in the 1940s and 1950s.
Allen Downs was an accomplished photographer, filmmaker, and professor at the University of Minnesota, where he established the film department in 1952. Bruce Baillie credits Downs as teaching him everything he knows about filmmaking.
Sandra Dyas is a visual artist and published author living in Iowa City. She is a lecturer in art at Cornell College, where she teaches photography, video, and performance art.
Kelly Gallagher is an experimental filmmaker and assistant professor of film at Syracuse University. Her work investigates the radical and feminist possibilities of experimental animation.
Jeanne Liotta makes films, videos, and other artworks, including installation, projector performances, works on paper, and photography. Her investigations of the ephemeral and the real in cinematic time are often located at a lively intersection of art, science, and natural philosophy.
Linda Klosky was raised in Virginia and moved to Minnesota, where she was actively making avant-garde films in the 1970s and ’80s and participated in Film in the Cities as an artist.
Sheryl Mousley has been a champion of the moving image arts for many years in the Twin Cities area and beyond. Born and raised in Minnesota, Mousley is the former director of education at Film in the Cities in St. Paul and former senior curator of moving image at the Walker Art Center.
Rini Yun Keagy is a moving image artist based in Minneapolis and raised in California and Guatemala. Her practice in video and 16mm film is multimodal and research-based, investigating race and labor, disease, and sites of historical and psychosocial trauma.
Please check the back closer to the date for program details and current COVID-19 guidelines. For weather updates, please call the box office at 612-375-7600.
Admission is free on Thursday nights, 5–9 pm. Gallery admission tickets must be reserved separately, quantities are limited. Mask-wearing is encouraged indoors for visitors ages 2 and older.
This event may be documented with photography. By attending, you consent to having your image documented.
Masks are strongly encouraged inside the museum for all visitors ages 2 and older regardless of vaccination status. On Free First Saturdays and Sensory Friendly Sundays, we require visitors ages 2 and older to wear face masks inside the building to support the safety and comfort of families and attendees.
If you have questions or require additional assistance, please email email@example.com or call 612-375-7600.