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MoMA Salutes Creative Capital, Supporter of Risk-Taking, Experimental Artists, with an Exhibition
"The Zo", 2009. USA. Written, directed, and animated by Glenda Wharton.
NEW YORK, NY.- Recognizing the extraordinary contribution that the New York-based nonprofit organization Creative Capital has made to sustaining art of the highest quality in the United States, The Museum of Modern Art will present an exhibition of 37 original, impassioned, and rebellious films and videos that Creative Capital has funded and nurtured over the past 11 years. Presented from April 30 through June 6, 2010, the exhibition will include the premieres of three new works and two live moving-image musical performances among its showcase of 17 shorts and 20 features. Since 1999, Creative Capital has committed more than $20 million in financial and advisory support to more than 400 artists across artistic disciplines. Within film, this includes fictional narratives and documentaries, animated and experimental shorts, live moving-image performances, and many other innovative film projects. The exhibition screens in The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, and is organized by Joshua Siegel, Associate Curator, with Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.

The opening night, HERE [ THE STORY SLEEPS ] (2010) on Friday, April 30, at 7:00 p.m., is a one-night-only live performance of an emerging collaboration between the award-winning filmmaker Braden King (Dutch Harbor; Sonic Youth: Do You Believe in Rapture?), the composer Michael Krassner, and the critically acclaimed Boxhead Ensemble. This hybrid film-concert explores the dream life of cinematic narrative, deconstructing King's forthcoming film HERE, starring Ben Foster and Lubna Azabal, and will include projections designed by Deborah Johnson. The closing night, on Sunday, June 6, at 5:30 p.m., features the New York theatrical premiere of a new work by Eve Sussman and Rufus Corporation: the "New Wave futurist noir "whiteonwhite:randomthriller" [alphaversion] (2010). This experimental work by the creators of the gallery installation 89 Seconds at "Alcázar" (2004) and the theatrical feature "The Rape of the Sabine Women" (2006) is a film of indeterminate length whose continuously evolving narrative is generated by computer code. The screening will be followed by a conversation with director Sussman, editor Kevin Messman, code writer Jeff Garneau, and actor/writer Jeff Wood.

Among the directors who will present their work during the exhibition are Laura Poitras, whose documentary "The Oath" (2010) takes us deep inside the world of Al Qaeda, Guantanamo, and U.S. interrogation methods and was featured at this year's New Directors/New Films festival (a collaboration between MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center); Natalia Almada, who won the 2009 Sundance Best Documentary Director award for her film "El General" (2009), an intimate meditation on the life of Mexican President Plutarco Elias Calles; and Andy Bichlbaum, a member of the Yes Men and co-director of the documentary "The Yes Men Fix the World" (2009), the 2009 Berlin Film Festival Panorama Audience Award winner, which follows two gonzo anti-globalization activists and their pranks on major corporations and governmental agencies. The animated short film "Paulina Hollers" (2006) by Brent Green will screen on Thursday, May 6, at 7:00 p.m., and will include live narration by Green and improvised music by a band that includes Donna K., Brendan Canty (of Fugazi), Catherine McRae (of The Quavers), and Drew Henkels (of Drew & the Medicinal Pen).

Three films will have premieres in MoMA's Creative Capital exhibition. These include the East Coast premiere of Erin Cosgrove's "Happy Am I" (2009), an animated short by an exciting young artist from Los Angeles that combines a wide variety of art historical and pop culture references; the New York premiere of Glenda Wharton's "The Zo" (2009), a hand-drawn animated short that was shown at Sundance and tells a dark and dreamlike tale of violence, abuse, and escape; and the New York premiere of director Peter Sillen's "I Am Secretly an Important Man", a documentary portrait of grunge-rock poet and performance artist Steven (Jesse) Bernstein, a major figure of the Seattle art and music scene who died tragically in 1991.

Among the memorable fiction films are Sleep Dealer (2008) by Alex Rivera, a dystopic parable about the cyber-trafficking of human memory and feelings, and a highlight of the 2008 New Directors/New Films festival; Caveh Zahedi’s comic reconstruction of his ten-year struggle with sex addiction in I Am a Sex Addict (2005); Jem Cohen’s Chain (2004), a hybrid of narrative and documentary that Cohen filmed around the world, creating a portrait of alienated, late-capitalist consumerism that also has moments of transcendent beauty; and Christopher Munch’s The Sleepy Time Gal (2001), a poignant drama featuring Jacqueline Bisset in a career-defining performance.

Many experimental and animated films are highlighted in the exhibition, including Naomi Uman’s The Ukrainian Time Machine (2008), Suzan Pitt’s El Doctor (2005), Jeff Scher’s You Won’t Remember This (2002), Bill Morrison’s Decasia (2002), Joe Gibbons’s Confessions of a Sociopath (2002), Philip Solomon’s Psalm III: Night of the Meek (2002), Lewis Klahr’s Daylight Moon (2002), and Craig Baldwin’s Spectres of the Spectrum (1999). Films made by visual artists include performance artist Kalup Linzy’s Keys to Our Heart (2008); Sharon Lockhart’s Pine Flat (2006); Reynold Reynolds and Patrick Jolley’s Burn (2002); and Levsha: The Tale of a Cross-Eyed Lefty from Tula and the Steel Flea (2001), by David Wilson, the founder and director of the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles.

Award-winning documentaries presented as part of the Creative Capital exhibition include Tia Lessin and Carl Deal’s 2009 Academy Award-nominated Trouble the Water (2008), which also screened at the 2008 New Directors/New Films festival, and which includes footage of Hurricane Katrina shot by a New Orleans couple who survived it; I Was Born, But... (2004), filmmaker Roddy Bogawa’s remembrance of a seemingly unrecoverable moment in the history of the Los Angeles punk rock scene and his own history as an artist and Asian American growing up in Hawaii; Sam Green and Bill Siegel’s 2004 Academy Award-nominated The Weather Underground (2002), which features news footage, original interviews, and never-before-seen FBI documents that trace a militant group’s efforts to stop the Vietnam War and bring down the U.S. government; and Sandi DuBowski’s internationally successful documentary Trembling Before G-d (2001), an exploration of the cloistered world of Orthodox and Hasidic Judaism, and the dilemma of gays and lesbians living in those communities.

Creative Capital is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing integrated financial and advisory support to artists pursuing innovative and adventurous projects in five disciplines: Emerging Fields, Film/Video, Literature, and Performing and Visual Arts. Working in long-term partnership with artists, Creative Capital’s pioneering approach to support combines funding, counsel, and career development services to enable a project’s success and foster a successful and sustainable practice for its grantees. In its first decade, Creative Capital has committed more than $20 million in financial and advisory support to 325 projects representing 406 artists and has reached an additional 3,000 artists through its Professional Development Program.

Other artists in the exhibition include Craig Baldwin, Roddy Bogawa, Bill Brown, Jem Cohen, Sandi DuBowski, James Duesing, Kevin Jerome Everson, Joe Gibbons, Sam Green and Bill Siegel, Lewis Klahr, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, Kalup Linzy, Sharon Lockhart, Bill Morrison, Christopher Munch, Suzan Pitt, Reynold Reynolds and Patrick Jolley, Alex Rivera, Jeff Scher, Phil Solomon, Ela Troyano, David Wilson, and Caveh Zahedi.

The Museum of Modern Art | Rajendra Roy | Joshua Siegel | Creative Capital |


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