* Then there are these sculptures by Neil Dawson, which remake the horizon by imposing what look (from a distance, in a photo) like drawings on an otherwise photographic space. It's like pop-pastoral or something, and a nifty effect.
* And speaking of remakes of famous art, I assume many of you have already seen or heard about Star Wars Uncut — a remake of A New Hope composed of 15-second clips submitted by people around the world, stitched together to make a sprawling, slapdash new movie that somehow holds together. Every quarter-minute it oscillates wildly from dorm-room sets to crude animation, no-budget chromakey shots to actors costumed in shiny trash. It's amazing. Scene editor Jim Ridley described it as "the most kid-friendly piece of avant-garde film ever made." Check it out:
First, Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, will be appearing at the downtown library tonight as part of their excellent Salon@615 series. Tickets will be distributed starting at 5:45 p.m., with the reception at 6:15 p.m., author talk at 6:45 p.m. and book signing beginning at 7:30 p.m. Morgenstern was last here for the Southern Festival of Books in October, when Chapter16.org's Sarah Norris penned this description of the titular circus, in her review of the book:
Open from midnight to dawn, the traveling show includes an ice garden that bursts into bloom, an elaborate maze of clouds, acrobatic kittens, poems racing down the sides of trees, a ship of books on a sea of ink, mythical animals running around a carousel, and a mysterious contortionist who folds herself into a tiny glass box before disappearing in a puff of smoke. Celia performs nightly as the grand-scale illusionist, transporting the circus to each new venue without warning. Marco works behind the scenes, binding performers to the show (ensuring that they'll never leave or grow older), and controlling a white bonfire that works as the circus's engine.
As it turns out, Celia and Marco, unbeknownst to them, are being groomed for a death match with each other.
Second, the self-described "poet, critic, midrashist" Alicia Ostriker reads at Vanderbilt. She's been a National Book Award finalist more than once, won the William Carlos Williams award from the Poetry Society of America and taken issue with Auden — so consider her dues paid in full. I think the first Ostriker poem I ever read was "Nude Descending," which populates the Duchamp painting referenced in the title with a woman and a creepy suitor. You can hear Ostriker read it over at the Poetry Foundation website, then head to Buttrick Hall 101 at 7 p.m. tonight.
Last weekend, in the midst of a thunderstorm and a power outage, Adam Gold still managed a coup: interviews with Damien Echols and Jason Baldwin of the West Memphis Three, Echols' wife Lorri Davis, and Amy Berg — the director of the hotly anticipated documentary West of Memphis, the hardest ticket to get in town tonight. The movie will have one screening only 7 p.m. at The Belcourt, as part of the Sundance Film Festival USA night going on across the country, and it's been sold out for weeks.
Covering Sundance in his regular gig for the A.V. Club — which you should be reading regularly if somehow you're not — longtime Scene contributor Noel Murray saw the film last weekend and compared it favorably to the landmark Paradise Lost documentaries on the subject.
"Berg has the story (and the testifiers to same) already in place," Noel writes, "plus she has Jackson’s money and personal interest in the case to get her access to DNA experts, forensic pathologists and FBI profilers, all of whom establish very convincingly that the three men convicted for this crime were the victims a justice system more interested in expediency than truth."
An unwed mother cast aside, this soulful beagle, soft brown and beckoning love, needs a home to call her own. Think “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” as she rests near, her coat cashmere soft. Lacey Mae is a quiet, respectful lady of substance (housebroken) at just 20 pounds. Offered by the Williamson County Shelter, where she is walked daily and loved.
Hillsboro Road, behind Franklin High just north of downtown Franklin. Call 790-5590.
Portrait by PeterNashDogs.com
Editor's note: Each week in the Scene, photographer Peter Nash — who can forget his shot of Possum's pooch? — offers a portrait of a Nashville dog in need of a good home.
Natalia Almada: El Velador (The Night Watchman)
When: Reception 5:30 p.m., film 6 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 26
Where: Watkins College of Art & Design, 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
Natalia Almada’s Mexican roots are tangled deep in the country’s history through her great-grandfather Plutarco Elias Calles’ presidency and dictatorship of Mexico following the country’s revolution. The story of that man was told in Almada’s acclaimed film El General, which screened earlier this week as part of Watkins’ retrospective of the filmmaker’s work. Originally a photographer, Almada makes award-winning movies that contextualize personal stories within the broader social and cultural framework that defines — and obscures — lives lived on the other side of the Mexican border.
Her latest film, El Velador (The Night Watchman), tells a tale about violence without violence, following a security guard and a guardian angel on their rounds at a Sinaloan mausoleum that holds the remains of some of Mexico’s most ferocious drug kingpins. As Nick Schager wrote in a rave review recently in Slant:
El Velador doesn't pass judgment or manipulate emotionally, instead choosing simply to consider the arduousness of survival in a land wracked by slaughter. Almada's visuals speak volumes even as their precise intent remains open to interpretation, lending the film a figurative expansiveness that nicely meshes with its geographically narrow focus. Candles burn in shrines next to grave markers, a vendor cuts a piece of fruit on a stick for a young child, and wreathes are carried to memorial services—snapshots of sorrow, endurance, and ritual that resound with tranquil gravity.
Almada will be at Watkins as a visiting artist for today's reception and screening, free and open to the public.
This week's art section runs the gamut of Nashville's art scene: an exhibit at a downtown commercial gallery with a male-heavy roster of photographers, and a just-barely out-of-town academic gallery featuring an exhibit by women who work with mixed media.
Outside of a Slayer sample looping inside a Public Enemy song, I don't know that there's anything better than a bombastic, sweeping piece of music played furiously through a gigantic organ and into a cavernous space. With that in mind, here's Michelle Kuhl putting the First Baptist Church's Schantz organ — which, if a cursory Internet search is correct, has over 3,000 pipes — through the paces with Henri Mulet's Carillon Sortie. Crank it!
From Joe's write-up:
This exhibition at Vanderbilt University’s Fine Arts Gallery serves dual purposes — as recognition of the 25th anniversary of the school’s Asian American Student Association, and as a showcase for some of the more than 1,300 objects that make up the gallery’s collection of Japanese fine and applied arts, including screen paintings, ceramics, rare books and ukiyo-e, a form of Japanese woodblock printing.
Update! A longish review of the exhibit just went up on Art Now Nashville. Here's the link.
Dude, if you know so much about hipsters, what are you doing hanging out at Bongo Java on a Saturday night, filming yourself talking about hipsters?
A few months later I came across a series of Life Magazine photographs of her in the middle of her artistic practice, and they sealed the deal — she throws those paint buckets around with the stoicism of a farmer feeding livestock. The grainy quality of these 1970s shots grounds the work in the past, while the DayGlo colors update a style that was better known for Jackson Pollock's starker palette.
Check them out after the jump.
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