Warm Up the Skinny Jeans, Kids – Art to Check Out This Weekend!

There’s a lot of art vying for your attention this Friday.  Who shall win it and who shall perish?  Nature shall decide.  Alright, it shan’t be all that dramatic, but you do have a lot to choose from, come Friday.  We’re looking like a ship-shape art scene, here!

Tempus Projects –   Brian Taylor Sleep of Reason Cinema Series and Robbie Land 16mm Cine-Performance –  Fri. Jan 1/27  7pm-11pm

I’ll admit this now: it’s probably my predilection for art that doesn’t hang on a wall which made me decide to feature this event (no offense, painters).  Also, watching Roger Beebe‘s performance at CEFA earlier this month has me ready to check out more 16mm films.

Tempus Projects opened Things Not Seen Before: A Tribute to John Cage about two weeks ago.  This Friday’s installment is part of the additional programming coinciding with that show.  Filmmaker Robbie Land will be performing his 16mm Cine-Performance.  Some of Land’s films use the camera unconventionally (and at times don’t use a camera at all) bringing to mind Cage’s prepared piano pieces and fondness for chance.  Brian Taylor, Sleep of Reason Cinema Series curator, will be presenting work inspired by John Cage.  Taylor has screened some great films in the past so it’ll be interesting to see what Cage themed film he’ll be presenting Friday.

Friday Night Alternatives and Additions

If you’re looking for something more or something else to check out on Friday, here are some other worthwhile events:

Carolina Cleere, State of Mine, mixed media

Morean Arts Center – Bloom  5pm-7pm:  The Arts Center will be holding the opening reception to the invitational exhibition Bloom in its two main galleries.  The show is based on the subject of flowers and “the beauty and complexity of these forms”.  I know this may conjure the idea of lame flowery still-life’s but the work featured in this exhibit if far from it and worth a look if you’re heading to St. Pete.  At least check out their site – you’ll be impressed.

William Pachner, “Winter Landscape”, 1968, ink / gouache, 15 x 19 inches

Brad Cooper Gallery – William Pachner 1960-1970    2pm-7pm: This show features the work of the same William Pachner that you can see at the Tampa Museum of Art now and appropriately coinciding with that exhibit.  If you’re into Pachner’s abstract painting check out the reception at Brad Cooper than make your way to the TMoA for Friday’s Art on the House.  Your tour for this important Bay area artist starts in Ybor and ends next door in downtown Tampa.

Kathy Wright, "Mammoth Cave 58", ink and oil on canvas, 60" x 48"

Clayton Galleries – Kathy Wright, Landscape Paintings, labyrinths, caverns and sloughs    7pm-9pm    Clayton Galleries kicks off their 2012 season Friday with this Kathy Wright solo exhibit running through March 10th.   The exhibition will be featuring Wright’s colorful abstracted landscapes inspired by her artist residency stay in the Everglades and the surroundings of Mammoth Cave National Park.  Wright’s current project, the Mammoth Cave Series, is particularly well executed and definitely warrants a visit to the reception.

Warm Up the Skinny Jeans, Kids – Art to Check Out This Weekend!

How to Write Poetry With Only One Letter – Roger Beebe

Last Light of a Dying Star

Optimus Prime: automaton or automobile?  An ancient (c. 1983) philosophical question, not unlike that of the increasingly complex role of the artist.  Speaking to Roger Beebe the role of artist as cultural mediator comes into focus (pun unavoidable).

Beebe is a professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Florida.  However, he’s also a very active filmmaker screening in locales as varied as the MoMA, the Sundance Film Festival, the Times Square Jumbotron, and even Antarctica.  However, if you attend his show at C. Emerson Fine Arts on Friday 1/06/12 you’ll notice he’s not the average moviegoers’ average filmmaker.

In fact, watching Beebe’s films you get the feeling that not only is he aware of this, but it may be one of his starting points.  “Because of turning the cinema experience into this multiplex experience you go there and it has this kind of generic quality to it”, he says.  That isn’t to say, though, that he is attempting to turn cinema back to some golden age.

Many may consider Beebe’s work to be part of a tradition of expanded cinema (a term I was glad I could have a UF professor of film explain to me – and tuition-free, nerds!).  Expanded cinema is often taken out of the Muvico and into alternative spaces,  often experimental or made with unconventional equipment and/or techniques.  Really, expanded cinema deserves its own blog post.  Beebe’s approach and tools to film making are as diverse as the places he’s shown them.  His films glow from 16mm film, Super 8, and digital video, often all simultaneously.

“There’s an interesting democracy to this recycling aesthetic and picking up stuff that nobody wants anymore”, he says. “Using 16mm is interestingly democratic in how it has that DIY production method”.  Beebe was specifically referring to the democratic nature of outmoded tools such as 16mm film (actually, a class he teaches is called “16mm film production” – what’s more democratic than teaching someone?).   However, in a way this can also apply to much of the content of  Beebe’s work.  His use of familiar language and imagery as well as actually re-appropriating other films adds a democratic (and DIY) character to his work.

It seems one of his films that will be shown Friday, AAAAA Motion Picture, indirectly touches on this.  The description for this film on Beebe’s website reads:   The Manhattan phone book has 14 pages of companies jockeying to be at the start of the alphabetical listings. Capitalism triumphs over linguistic richness yet again. Our challenge: to learn how to write poetry when there’s only one letter left.  There’s hardly an art form that can be as commercial as film (what would be the art world’s version of Michael Bay? Jeff Koons?)  Regarding AAAAA Motion Picture Beebe says, “I think I was very specifically thinking about the way words and phrases get turned into trademarks and slogans”

He goes on, “Even the neutral phrase ‘it’s the real thing’ – you can’t think of that without thinking of Coca-Cola or the way that Donald Trump tried to trademark ‘You’re Fired’ or Paris Hilton tried to trademark ‘That’s Hot'”  With words and phrases losing meaning by being turned into commodities and visual phrases turning into visual clichés, work like Roger Beebe’s becomes refreshing.

We spoke about his film Last Light of a Dying Star (that uses eight projectors simultaneously).  And though the conversation was specifically about the perception of outer space and space travel, the idea of the artist as a cultural mediator came to the surface, where the role of the artist isn’t to produce a new object but a new experience.   “I think there is a level of desensitization and familiarity.  So, I guess the task of the artist is to de-familiarize that.  To produce the experience anew”

Roger Beebe will be presenting Films for One to Eight Projectors on Friday, 1/06/12 at 7pm

How to Write Poetry With Only One Letter – Roger Beebe

Warm Up the Skinny Jeans, Kids – Art to Check Out This Weekend!

Taco Bus, warm up my burrito because I’m coming to down to the ‘Burg this weekend!  With the winter holidays behind us downtown St. Pete is kicking off the second half of the art season.  Here are two things to check out this weekend.

C. Emerson Fine Arts – Films for One to Eight Projectors     Friday, 1/06 7pm

The show at CEFA this Friday is being described as  “multi-projector experiments by Roger Beebe“.   To say that Beebe will be showing five films is an understatement if not inaccurate.  Beebe acts as more than a film maker or even a video artist.  Using antiquated equipment and multiple film projectors simultaneously almost makes the event verge on performance art.  You can expect this to be a great show.  All of you Tempus people would definitely dig this.  Anyhow, its good to see some more not-hanging-on-a-wall art.  I spoke with Beebe and will be posting the interview shortly.

Mindy Solomon Gallery – Rock-Paper-Scissors     Saturday, 1/07 6pm-8pm

Oliver Lang, People, Series of 78, 2005, 60 x 80 cm, Lambda-print on aluminium (1mm) with mounting

Rock-Paper-Scissors is a group exhibit curated by Isabel Balzer of balzerARTprojects.  While the name of the show has a loose relationship with the work (as it seems every good group show does) it should tell you about how fun this exhibit promises to be.  To be fair, though, the show’s name really references the universality of art and versatility of paper.  balzerARTprojects is a great curatorial project/gallery based in Basel, Switzerland and known for exhibiting talented emerging international artists.  This exhibit will be featuring the artists Andi Bauer, Domenico Billari, Tom Fellner, EddiE haRA, Mimi von Moos, Nici Jost, Oliver Lang, Sebastien Meija and Olga Vonmoos.

Warm Up the Skinny Jeans, Kids – Art to Check Out This Weekend!