If you read the blog regularly enough you might have noticed that I almost only write about documentary films. Documentaries or epically long films (I enjoy sitting still in a dark room for long periods of time.) With that being said I am also not that much of a music buff. The majority of my music consists of Motown, Beach Boys, and 60s girl groups. So, when it came to watching Scott Walker 30 Century man, which is making its Chicago premier this July 4th weekend, I was a little lost. If you have never heard of Scott Walker, born Scott Engel, you are not alone. Walker, formerly of the 60s sensation The Walker Brothers, is considered by some to be one of the â€œgreatest composers and poets of our time.â€ The film, directed by Stephen Kijak, known for his documentary CINEMANIA which follows five New York City Film buffs, chronicles Scott Walkers early fame and self imposed exile from the music industry.
The film begins with the trio the Walker Bothers, none of which are related or named Walker, who for a brief moment were huge teen idols in Britain. Know for his good lucks and deep voice, Scott Walker became the face of the band and object of adulation from teenage girls. Scott retells the story of being in a car and having it tipped over by fans. He also adds that this is a time before cars had seat belts. Like many bands the Walker Brothers split and Scott beings creating experimental pop music. We hear from fans such as Jarvis Cocker, Radiohead, Goldfrapp, and executive producer of the film David Bowie about the influence Walkerâ€™s sound has had on their lives. The second half of the film we take a look at the very long process, 10 years, that Walker endures to create a record.
At one point in the film someone compares Walkerâ€™s music to a Francis Bacon painting. This could have not rung truer. His other-worldly baritone voice combined with his dark and densely layered arrangements feel like the perfect soundtrack to any of Baconâ€™s paintings. We also watch as Walker directs his percussionist how to correctly punch meat. I might not have been won over into listening to any of Walker’s music but I might try next time I am looking at Baconâ€™s Figure with Meat at the Art Institute.
For more information on Scott Walker and this 30 Century Man please visit the films website.
Scott Walker | 30 Century Man Playing at the Gene Siskel Film Center.
164 North State Street
Chicago Il 60601
Saturday, July 4, 8:00 pm
Sunday, July 5, 8:00 pm
Thursday, July 9, 8:30 pm
On this weekly roundup we check out Robogeisha, a surprisingly versatile robot, half a Century of Nuclear Explosions, and Brooklyn is burning. Actually this sounds like a rather apocalyptic roundup for Independence Day.
Buckminster Fuller closes This Sunday July 5th at the MCA Chicago.
Scientists tour Creationism Museum: “And there was a feeling of unhappiness, too, about the extent to which mainstream scientists and evolutionists are demonized — that if you don’t accept the Answers in Genesis vision of the history of Earth and life, you’re contributing to the ills of society and of the church.” via Boing Boing
Plural Blog has a video of Half a Century of Nuclear Explosions. 2053 atomic explosions have occurred. frightening and yet strangle hypnotic.
The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies.
Glasstire breaks down the reasons why Jerry Saltz should have a blog.
Fan made Persepolis 2.0 documenting the post elections in Iran.
Brooklyn is Burning…”the one-night event takes gender bending to whole new heights, featuring the work of emerging artists interested in expanding the boundaries of sex, sexuality, the body and whatever is left in between.” via Cool Hunting
Art Fag City speaks with casting director, Nick Gilhool of Bavo’s new art reality show.
Here’s what I’d go to, if I were you…
1. Co-Prosperity Sphere
Bert Stabler is bending you brain this 4th of July with SALAD-CHURCH-EXERCISE: A show about self-improvement through self-denial. With work by over 20 local artists, a massive salad potluck, and taglines like, â€œWhile large-scale organs of control, such as schools, hospitals, and prisons, enforce the social contract through a restriction of choice and a remote delegation of authority, personal or cultural techniques for redirecting and mastering libido, the inner primordial chaos we carry within, can be found in the options represented by salad, church, and exercise.â€ How could you go wrong. You can take the Orange Line to Ashland, Saturday from 2-6pm.
For the day after Independency Day, lets raise our torn jean jacket clad arms an Question Authority! Mmmâ€¦high school. But seriously, Kaylee Rae Wyant and Jerome Acks are doing something cool over at Julius Caesar called Hear Here. Framed as work â€œexamining the many ideals and complexities encompassing freedom, democracy and revolutionâ€ it should be interesting to contemplate after a flag choked day of â€œpatriotismâ€.
3. BEN RUSSELL
How many ways can you put your own name on a show? Well, if you are Ben Russell, as many as humanly possibly. How is â€œBen Russell, presented by Ben Russell, at Ben Russellâ€ for ya? Weird thing is, it ainâ€™t a solo show. Ben Russell is a new space in Pilsen, go there and check out work by Marco Kane Braunschweiler, Martine Syms, Paul Chan, Miguel Cortez, Roxane Hopper, Julie Rudder, and Kelly Kaczynsk are doing their performance piece at 9pm the opening night. Drop by for the Sunday opening from 6-10pm.
As a celebration of the closing of the Bucky Fuller exibition, the MCA is hosting Jen & Ira & You at the MCA Meet Buckminster Fuller Meeting the Hippies in Golden Gate Park, a performance piece by Jennifer Karmin & Ira S. Murfin. Ever wondered why hippies loved this son of the atomic age? Well, hereâ€™s your chance to find out. The performance is free with the cost of admission, so if you get into the MCA free, youâ€™re good to go.
Did you ever play Wil Wright’s computer game The Sims? In the earliest versions, the little folks (who speak a language called “Simmish”) would say something that sounded like “me tyuhd!” and clutch at their heads whenever they needed you to send them to bed. That’s how I feel right now: tyuhd. So here’s a mini roundup of what’s caught my eye lately. Nighty night.
*Designer/artist Anna Schwamborn makes objects from, um, bits of her deceased relatives. It’s actually quite beautiful.
*Social media artist @platea blogs at Art 21.
*Ex-MOCA curator Brooke Hodge on Millenium Park: “Chicago, known for its civic pride, has a lot to be proud of this year.”
*The name isn’t the only thing that’s changing: Sears Tower going green (The Post Family).
*Forget storytelling; try storytweeting (via Wired UK).
*House of Representatives approves additional funding for NEA and NEH.
*MOCA: Back from the dead.
Forget all the news about Chicago city arts grants, potentially major boosts to NEA funding, and all that other boring crap. I would be remiss were I not to inform Chicago artists about this fabulous opportunity, no? Bravo is launching a new counterpart to its Top Chef, Top Designer, put-12-aspiring-whatevers-into-a-weekly competitive-lineup-and-get-them-to-cry franchise, but this time it’s devoted to makers of contemporary art. Finally, artists are getting their due!
The L.A. Times reports that, “according to the application instructions for potential contestants, the show’s producers are looking for ‘emerging or mid-career’ artists who work in any number of the following fields: painting, sculpture, installation, video, photography and mixed-media.”
Everybody thinks this show’s gonna suck, but I actually have very high hopes for SJP’s (that’s Sarah Jessica Parker to those of you not in the celeb gossip loop) newest television venture. I didn’t know she was into contemporary art, but I’m not interested in that angle of celebrity worship, Brad Pitt notwithstanding. Top Chef looked like it wouldn’t work (who wants to watch a reality show about food, we all thought) and we were wrong, wrong, wrong. Hopefully, the naysayers will be disproved once again and we’ll get some great television out of this.
Art Fag City is speculating that Matthew Higgs might be one of the judges (or maybe even the Top guy, a la Tom Colicchio?) but I truly hope this is not the case. Higgs is all wrong for this. Please God, let it be Schimmel instead. He’s probably looking for a job right now, and he would be absolutely perfect. Now, who should they pick for his junior underlings? I can think of so many possibilities…but perhaps it would be mean to hazard any further guesses? Up here, anyway–but feel free to do so in the comments.
Now, getting back to the critical business at hand: the Chicago audition information is as follows:
Thursday, July 16, 10 AM â€“ 2 PM, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sullivan Galleries, 33 State Street (www.saic.edu).
See you on the small screen.