Walker Art Center

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Free Films in the Mediatheque

Discover the history of cinema in the Walker’s newly remodeled self-select cinema. The Bentson Mediatheque is a place to make new discoveries in moving image and get reacquainted with old favorites. Choose from more than 200 titles from the Ruben/Benston Moving Image Collection, or select one of our specially curated playlists accessible via touchscreen controls. Unique to the Walker, the Bentson Mediatheque offers a one-of-a-kind cinema experience.

Featured Playlists on Target Free Thursday Nights


May 4: Looking to the Margins

“I look to the margins for glances of a recent past. A past that flickers, washed out and full of loss. The edges and boundaries delineated on screen are fragile and full of quiet tension. A tension we know to be lethal, as we collectively careen into a precarious and hysterical future” (Gudrun Lock). Join us for a screening of shorts from the Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection, including Paul Chan’s Baghdad in No Particular Order (2003), a video essay that captures daily life in Baghdad prior to the country’s occupation. Programmed by Gudrun Lock, artist and adjunct faculty member at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. 1999–2007, 85 minutes.

May 18: Suburbia: Paradise and Dystopia in America’s Hinterlands

This program explores a variety of ways in which moving image artists have examined, deconstructed, and reimagined the physical and psychic landscapes of Nowhere, USA. From the video-diaries of Sadie Benning to Buster Keaton’s satire of newlyweds and the banalities of homemaking, the pieces touch on consumerism, claustrophobia, television, baseball, childhood, teenage angst, AM radio, and the ever-present specter of the white picket fence. The screening offers wry, often touching glimpses into the cinematic possibilities for turning boredom into pleasure, angst into humor, and the disparate absurdities of Middle America into a refuge that might resemble home. Also featuring works by Abigail Child, Bruce Baillie, Vanalyne Green, and Ilene Segalove. 1920–2004, 129 minutes.

May 25: Seven Easy Pieces: Experimental Shorts from Women in the Avant-Garde

More than a survey of women artists in the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection, this program investigates diverse techniques for portraying and recontextualizing male and female bodies on film and video as well as the social contexts that define roles and proscribe movements. Yoko Ono and Chieko Shiomo’s Fluxus efforts; the explorations of dance by Maya Deren, Yvonne Rainer, and Miranda Pennell; Rosler’s rebellion against archetypal gender roles; and Thornton’s unflinching examination of AIDS—seen together, the pieces present variegated (but always challenging, and even radical) approaches to the constraints of the lens and the possibilities for liberation through creative cinematic invention. 1945–2002, 51 minutes (looped).


Target Free Thursday Nights sponsored by  

Major support to preserve, digitize, and present the Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection is generously provided by the Bentson Foundation.