Now open are two new areas for screenings of rare film prints, videos, and media installations. The Best Buy Film/Video Bay and the Lecture Room offer visitors a chance to see new acquisitions from the Walker’s Edmond R. Ruben Film and Video Study Collection, classic movies, and projects by artists-in-residence each day during regular gallery hours.
In the Lecture Room through August 20, artist-in-residence Ericka Beckman’s Frame UP runs continuously. Beckman shot hundreds of hours of footage of the expansion construction and edited it into a 10-minute, double-screen projection in which the workers and tower crane serve as players in a pinball game. Beginning in September, the Lecture Room is host to a series of works from the Ruben Collection, including video by Jem Cohen and Sadie Benning, restored experimental films from Robert Nelson, and legendary titles from Jean Vigo and Abram Room.
From April through August, Walker visitors can investigate the genesis of animation in the Best Buy Film/Video Bay. These shorts are rife with the excitement felt by their creators as they pioneered the new form. The first series includes an early political cartoon by Winsor McCay, which was used to rally American support of World War I, groundbreaking computer animations by James and John Whitney from the 1960s and ’70s, and delightful films by Sally Cruikshank, who used animation to tell personal stories, making her among the first women to be recognized for excellence in the art. Visitors can sink back in the cozy upholstered bench and select a film to play on one of three flat-screen monitors while listening to the sound track on headphones.
While it may not be a new space for film screenings at the Walker, the former Auditorium, renamed the Cinema, was renovated during the expansion project with improvements to enhance the moviegoing experience. Thanks to the generosity of the Redleaf Family Foundation, a state-of-the-art high-grade screen with masking was erected. New carpeting, aisle lights, house lights, and sound-system upgrades were also added. A coffee and wine cart will soon be available outside the Cinema, inviting audiences to linger and discuss the films.
These venues provide comfortable spaces in which visitors can access selections from our collection of several hundred classic, documentary, and avant-garde films as well as contemporary works from across the globe—always on view at the new Walker.