EAI is pleased to present a screening and talk with Lawrence Weiner, recognized internationally as a key figure in conceptual art. Weiner will introduce and screen what has been described as his "rock and roll movie," the sensuous black-and-white film Altered To Suit (1979, 23 min), recently restored by EAI. The screening will also feature three of Weiner's animated videos: Inherent In The Rhumb Line (2005, 7:25 min), Turning Some Pages (2007, 5 min), and his most recent video, Gyroscopically Speaking (2010, 5 min).
From his pioneering installation works of the 1960s and '70s through his new digital projects, Weiner posits a radical redefinition of the artist/viewer relationship and the very nature of the artwork. He has explored the use of language, text and ideas as sculptural material in his highly influential work across four decades. In the 1970s, seeking collaboration, dialogue and new contexts in which to present his work, Weiner produced a remarkable and rarely screened body of film work that unites his conceptual inquiries with live actors and striking imagery.
Filmed in Weiner's studio on Bleecker Street, Altered To Suit is described by Alice Weiner as "a delicate psychological allegory on 'a day in the life of.'" Weiner's players in the experimental narrative—a family "altered to suit"— grapple with agoraphobia, alienation, work and an insistent child who wants to visit the zoo. Through his films, Weiner sought to place his work into the "stream of life," searching for a mise-en-scène that would allow his ideas to reach the widest possible audience. In this spirit, Altered To Suit, with its seductive photography, rock music and dissonant use of sound, was originally presented at New York City's legendary Mudd Club in April 1979.
In his recent series of digital works, Weiner stakes out new territory even as he extends the investigations begun in his films. In these motion drawings or "structures," Weiner's iconic graphics and signature design leap into motion through digital animation. Weiner engages in visual and linguistic play with computer generated graphics.
EAI will screen a new digital video transfer of Altered To Suit, which was preserved by EAI through the Avant-Garde Masters program funded by The Film Foundation and administered by The National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF).
Lawrence Weiner was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1942. He has received numerous grants and awards, including the Skowhegan Medal for Painting/Conceptual Art; Wolfgang Hahn Prize, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany; the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, among many others. Weiner's works have been widely exhibited internationally. Recent solo exhibitions have been seen at the Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Dia Center for the Arts, New York; Musée d'Art Contemporain, Bordeaux; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany. His work has been included in major group exhibitions internationally, including Documentas V (1972), VI (1977), and VII (1982), Kassel, Germany, the 2005 Venice Biennale, and the Biennale Sao Paolo in 2006, among many others
In 2007-2008, Weiner was honored with a 40-year retrospective of his work, entitled Lawrence Weiner: AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE at the Whitney Museum of
American Art in New York.
LAWRENCE WEINER: ALTERED TO SUIT is part of an ongoing series of events and projects marking EAI's 40th anniversary year. For more information about upcoming programs in this series, please click here.
EAI: Celebrating 40 Years
Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is one of the world's leading nonprofit resources for video art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution and preservation of video art and digital art. EAI's core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical media works by artists. EAI's activities include viewing access, educational services, extensive online resources, and public programs such as artists' talks, exhibitions and panels. The Online Catalogue is a comprehensive resource on the artists and works in the EAI collection, and also features extensive materials on exhibiting, collecting and preserving media art:
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This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.