White Columns

Gallery “SCREEN: four film and video programs”

Screening schedule:

March 31 – April 7: Walter Pfeiffer
April 10 – April 14: Spartacus Chetwynd
April 17 – April 21: Jeff Funnell and John Will
April 24 – April 28: “Beverly Sillsbillies” – a program of Milwaukee filmmakers selected by David Robbins: Renato Umali; Annie Killelea; Bobby Ciraldo and Andrew Swant; David Robbins.

“Screen” takes the form of four week-long film and video screenings presented in White Columns’ main gallery space. The series includes both recent and historical works by artists based in Zurich, Switzerland (Pfeiffer); London, England (Chetwynd); Winnipeg, Canada (Funnell and Will); and Milwaukee, WI (Umali, Killelea, Ciraldo and Swant, Robbins.)

Perhaps better known for his photography which explores the “sexualization of the everyday,” Walter Pfeiffer’s three films – Music For Millions (1977), Kawasaki Cut (1985), and The Plaza (1985 – 2001) – extend his desire to “provide a new visual vocabulary for beauty, eroticism and freedom for life.” Pfeiffer’s films and videos depict the Zurich milieu of his friends hanging out in his studio.

Spartacus Chetwynd’s The Walk to Dover was originally commissioned by the London artist-run space Studio Voltaire. The original project involved a seven-day walk from London to Dover by a group of ‘Victorian Urchins.’ Emulating the narrative of Charles Dickens' semi-autobiographical novel, David Copperfield, Chetwynd led a small group of walkers from London to Dover. Copperfield’s journey tracked his shifting social status, exploring class structures in Victorian England. The film documents the journey, using video footage, photography and sound recordings made by the group into a collaged narrative. The Walk to Dover was made in collaboration with Zoe Brown.

Jeff Funnell and John Will’s poignant, tragicomic video Making The Rounds (1981/82) documents, in a casual verité manner, the Winnipeg-based artists 1981 tour of SoHo galleries (inc. those of Ronald Feldman, Paula Cooper, Leo Castelli, and Mary Boone, as well as not-for-profits such as The Kitchen and Artists Space). At each stop the artists try to engage with the gallery director in an attempt to show them a sheet of 35mm slides (which in fact depict images of photographic equipment.) Their second film Exploitation Gallery (1981/82) records the presentation – and often bemused reception - of Making The Rounds at a Winnipeg storefront gallery. Seen together the two films provide a quarter-century ‘flashback’, as well as offering a still pertinent commentary on the social-mechanics at play in the art world.

The Milwaukee-based artist David Robbins has selected a program of recent film and video works by a group of Milwaukee-area filmmakers. Entitled “Beverly Sillsbillies”- after the American opera singer - the program will include recent works by Renato Umali; Annie Killelea; Bobby Ciraldo and Andrew Swant; and Robbins himself. David Robbins is an artist and writer, his most recently published book The Velvet Grind - Selected Essays (1980-2004), [Les Presses du reel, 2006,] is a discussion of “art and entertainment and their conflictual relationship.”