“Pop Cinema at Its Best Pop”: George Kuchar’s Hold Me While I’m Naked
“Here is the most macabre sense of humor at work,” wrote Jonas Mekas in 1964, introducing young filmmakers George and Mike Kuchar to Village Voice readers. “Here is the Pop Cinema at its best pop… Here are banality and corniness transposed into their grotesque opposites.” Critic and International Pop Cinema curator Ed Halter looks at the Pop sensibilities in George Kuchar’s Hold Me While I’m Naked (1966).
Light and Freedom: William Klein’s Pop Politics
Of his first film, a study of illuminated advertising signs in New York City, William Klein remarked, “I think it’s the first Pop film.” Critic and curator Ed Halter examines the Pop resonances in Klein’s work, from the beauty and the “brain-washing” quality of Times Square signage in Broadway by Light (1958) to the politically charged Vietnam-era satire Mr. Freedom.
Christopher Nolan: A Practical Magician of Modern Movies
A master of misdirection, director Christopher Nolan seems to methodically tell us what he’s doing, only to blindside us with his astonishing narrative reveals and reversals. Watch films like Memento, Batman Begins, and Inception with a concentrated gaze, and somehow he still manages to pull the rug out from under you—or, he leaves the rug in place but pulls out the room instead.
Rethinking Collections Publishing for the Digital Age
For many in the museum world, the term scholarly collections catalogue can conjure daunting impressions: a book about a museum’s holdings, it involves years of collecting, researching, photographing, and writing, plus a huge printing budget, all to create a tome that is likely out of date the moment it hits the shelf. Enter The Living Collections Catalogue, the Walker’s new serial online publication.
Shifting Terrains: Fionn Meade on the Cross-Disciplinary
As the hard edges between disciplines continue to dissolve, the Walker is intensifying its investigations into what artistic boundary-crossing means and how curators must adapt to the needs of artists and audiences in this new reality. Fionn Meade discusses his role as senior curator of cross-disciplinary platforms and how art’s terrain is shifting in the gallery, theater, cinema, and online.
A Cinematic Family Album for Morocco
For Yto Barrada, Morocco’s defunct Cinéma Rif offered an opportunity to “bring a certain kind of magic back to the city” through an artistic intervention. The result—now nearly a decade old—is Cinémathèque de Tanger, an artist-run cinema, archive, and educational center in Tangier. It’s also, as she discusses with Bouchra Khalili, a vibrant community hub and repository of cultural memories.
Steve McQueen: “I Want to Be Useful”
“I don’t think slavery has been taboo at all,” Steve McQueen says, having just noted that his film 12 Years a Slave is one of less than two dozen to address this painful part of US history. “[Racism has] actually been very visible and obvious—the elephant in the room.” In a Q&A with Rob Nelson, McQueen discusses slavery, art, and how he sees Solomon Northup’s 1853 book as “the Anne Frank diary of America.”
Steve McQueen’s Truth and Beauty
Addressing criticisms that Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave prizes beauty over human emotion, Rob Nelson asks: “Doesn’t commercial art by its very nature put an ornate frame around whatever it observes? What does it mean to say that the subject of slavery defies the sort of representation that invites a wide audience? Why shouldn’t the ‘fastidiously composed image’ be used to help reveal messy truths?”
Buckminster Fuller: A Design Science Evangelist in Minnesota
Earning a standing ovation from a crowd of 5,000, Buckminster Fuller spoke at the University of Minnesota one Monday in 1973 on the role of design scientists in civic problem solving. But the 90-minute talk wasn’t the revolutionary thinker’s first trip here. As Mason Riddle learns, his many visits between 1953 and 1981 involved him in projects, exhibitions, and the inaugural Earth Day observation.