August 1, 2008

Fall Events to Shine Light on Warhol

By Tim Feran, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

Aug. 1--The most heralded event of the fall at the Wexner Center for the Arts has spawned a crop of multimedia activities.

During the opening weekend of "Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms" at Ohio State University, the center will present "Robert Forster Plays the Velvet Underground" (Sept. 13). The event will spotlight the music of the Velvet Underground -- an art-rock band that Warhol supported.

Warhol-related events will continue as director Vincent Fremont and filmmaker John Waters discuss Warhol's films and influence on culture (Oct. 3).

In Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film (Nov. 2), Laurie Anderson narrates an exploration of Warhol's life, work and influence. Filmmaker Ric Burns (brother of Ken) draws on rarely shown archival footage and uses various commentators.

A symposium, "Andy Warhol: Dichotomies" (Nov. 14-15), will feature Warhol collaborators, curators and critics such as actress Mary Woronov; Callie Angell, author of Andy Warhol Screen Tests: The Films of Andy Warhol; and the exhibition's curator, Eva Meyer-Hermann.

Film and music unite in "13 Most Beautiful . . . Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests" (Nov. 20). Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips will perform music they composed for Warhol's Screen Tests, four-minute silent-film portraits from the 1960s.

Educational programs will also be offered, as well as events such as Drag Day (Oct. 5) and Andyland (Nov. 8), a party after the center's anniversary gala.

Other highlights of the fall season at the Wexner:


--The Bebe Miller Company will perform the world premiere of Necessary Beauty (Oct. 1-5), a follow-up to Miller's Landing/Place.


--Young Jean Lee's Theater Company will perform The Shipment (Oct. 30 to Nov. 2), which Lee describes as "an extremely awkward exploration of the experience of being black in America."


--Jazz trumpeter Avishai Cohen incorporates Afro-Caribbean elements into After the Big Rain (Oct. 18).

--Jazz singer Ayelet Rose Gottlieb will perform Mayim Rabim (Nov. 17), the song cycle she recorded for the Radical Jewish Culture series on John Zorn's Tzadik label.

--Jandek -- also known as Sterling Richard Smith -- will perform his idiosyncratic, original folk-blues tunes and skewed chord structures (Oct. 10).

Film and video

--Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of filmmaker David Lean, the center will present a retrospective of his films, ranging from intimate dramas such as Brief Encounter (1945) to epics such as Lawrence of Arabia (1962).

--Colorado filmmaker Phil Solomon will be in the spotlight in three programs, including an in-person visit (Oct. 1); Collaborations With Stan Brakhage and Other Films (Oct. 9), which looks at Solomon's work with the avant-garde filmmaker; and Twilight Psalms and Other Films (Oct. 16), a meditation on the 20th century.

--In a continuation of the Wexner Center's annual baseball-themed films, the documentary High & Outside (2007) will examine Bill "Spaceman" Lee, a pitcher in the 1970s (Sept. 9-10).

--Filmmaker Antonio Ferrera will introduce The Gates (2007), which follows the struggle by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude to realize the installation of their fabric "gates" in New York's Central Park (Sept. 17).

Family events

--The International Performing Arts Series for Families will begin with The Frog Bride (Oct. 12), a tale of a king who sends his three sons to find brides.

--This year's Columbus International Children's Film Festival (Dec. 4-7) will offer a weekend of movies. One highlight is the documentary Jump! about the world of competitive jump-rope.

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