The Walker Art Center’s Target Free Thursday Nights in February bring the best of contemporary and avant-garde film into focus with programs that explore groundbreaking movies and their directors. These events are part of Expanding the Frame, a seven-week film and lecture series showcasing established and emerging directors who are breaking the boundaries of film and video. Avant-garde film pioneer Pat O’Neill will be in the Walker Cinema on February 19 to introduce an evening of his most intriguing works. Additional programs highlight the musical films of Derek Jarman (February 26) and the shorts of Bruce Conner, with a post-screening discussion of Conner’s career to follow with scholar and former Walker curator Joan Rothfuss (February 12).
As part of the Walker’s UK Performance Now! series, British artist Ray Lee presents a special preview performance of Siren, featuring a mesmerizing sound and light performance created with sonic sculptures (February 19).
Programming related to the exhibition Text/Messages: Books by Artists continues throughout the month with events devoted to bookmaking and the art of the book. On February 5, Specific Object gallery’s David Platzker will moderate a panel dedicated to contemplating the state of artist’s book production. And on February 12, scholar Mark Andrews will give a Sound Bites talk on one of the exhibition’s centerpieces: an edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dali.
Sound Bites gallery talks are offered throughout the month on select Thursday evenings at 6:30 and 7 pm. Sound Bites illuminate an artist or work of art from the Walker’s world-class collection or one of its special exhibitions.
Target Free Thursday Nights
February 5, 12, 19, 26
Galleries open 5–9; special events follow.
Thursday, February 5
Panel Discussion: The Art of the Book, 7 pm
Artists’ books have always held an important place in the Walker’s collection, yet they are rarely on view in the gallery. On the occasion of the exhibition Text/Messages, David Platzker of Specific Object gallery and former director of Printed Matter, Inc., moderates a panel on the current state of artist’s book production. Panelists include artists Buzz Spector and Harriet Bavt, Sally Alatalo of Sara Ranchouse Publishing, and James Hoff of Primary Information.
Copresented by the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and Rain Taxi Review of Books.
Thursday, February 12
Sound Bites: Salvador Dali’s Alice in Wonderland, 6:30 and 7 pm
Meet in the Bazinet Garden Lobby
Join scholar Mark Andrews for an in-depth look at Salvador Dali’s mesmerizing illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, featured in the exhibition Text/Messages: Books by Artists.
Screening/Discussion: The Art and Films of Bruce Conner: 1933-2008, 7:30 pm
A pioneer of experimental and American avant–garde film, Bruce Conner was also a leading West Coast assemblage artist. His visual art deeply influenced his films during his career, and both will be discussed as film curator Sheryl Mousley talks with Joan Rothfuss, curator of the 2000 Walker retrospective 2000 BC: THE BRUCE CONNER STORY PART II. Some of Conner’s short films will be shown, including REPORT, A MOVIE, VALSE TRISTE, AMERICA IS WAITING, MONGOLOID, 5:10 TO DREAMLAND, and BREAKAWAY, all drawn from the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection. 90 minutes.
Thursday, February 19
Special Performance: Siren, 7 pm
Free tickets available at the Hennepin Lobby desk from 6 pm
Join UK sound artist Ray Lee for a preview of a mesmerizing sound and light performance created with sonic sculptures.
Sound Bites: Appropriation in Art, 6:30 and 7 pm
Meet in the Bazinet Garden Lobby
Enjoy a lively discussion about authorship in contemporary art as a Walker tour guide shares some notes on artists who use appropriation.
Film: An Evening with Pat O’Neill, 7:30 pm
Free tickets available at the Bazinet Garden Lobby desk from 6 pm
Introduced by the director
O’Neill began using optical printing techniques in the mid-1960s, manipulating the cinematic image in ways mimicked by computer technology decades later. His ingenuity has made him a pioneer in avant-garde film and earned him a Maya Deren Independent Film and Video Artists Award from the American Film Institute, among many other accolades. With Horizontal Boundaries (recently selected for the 2009 Sundance Film Festival), O’Neill interprets the landscapes of Los Angeles and enhances this multilayered portrait with a new soundtrack and a dazzling 35mm print. 2008, 35mm, 23 minutes. In Sidewinder’s Delta, a title from the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection, optical printing is used to combine original material with images drawn from found films. 1976, video, 20 minutes. Rounding out the program is Trouble the Image, a multilayered work that took more than a decade to complete. 1996, 35mm, 38 minutes.
Thursday, February 26
Sound Bites: Contemporary Portraiture, 6:30 and 7 pm
Meet in Bazinet Lobby
Inspired by the exhibition Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton, this talk offers insight into the contemporary artist’s approach to portraiture.
13 Most Beautiful Young Artists, 6:30 pm
Inspired by Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests and Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips’ 13 Most Beautiful . . ., the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC) created 13 original films and commissioned young musicians to compose accompanying soundtracks. Join us for the resulting collaboration—a raucous night of live performance and film.
Walker Teen Programs sponsored by Wells Fargo. Support provided by Best Buy Children’s Foundation. Walker Teen Programs are also supported by the Surdna Foundation.
Film: Derek Jarman’s Music Films, 8:30 pm
Jarman’s oppositional cinema allied him with musicians who shared a similar aesthetic. Marianne Faithfull worked with him on a series of films to illustrate her dark album, Broken English (1979). Using Super-8 footage shot in Russia at the end of the Cold War, the filmmaker collaborated with Benjamin Britten, David Ball, and Genesis P-Orrige to complete Imagining October (1984), about the connections between the revolutionary spirit of the Soviet Union and that of Thatcherite Britain. Later, he was commissioned to create The Queen Is Dead, a series of 35mm promotional films for a project by the Smiths (1986). In 16mm and 35mm, 62 minutes.