Brent Green: Perpetual and furious refrain

Brent Green: Perpetual and furious refrain

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)

Brent Green
Still from Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, 2010
16mm film and digital photographs transferred to digital video; color, sound
Courtesy of the artist and Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

April 22, 2010

Brent Green: Perpetual and furious refrain
May 2 – September 12, 2010

2626 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94720

BAM/PFA presents Brent Green: Perpetual and furious refrain. Green’s exhibition includes the West Coast premiere of his first full-length film Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, an installation featuring vignettes from the film and several of his handmade kinetic sculptures, and a live cinema event showcasing the artist’s animated short films accompanied by live narration and improvised soundtracks by Green, Brendan Canty, and Donna K that opens the exhibition on May 2.

Green has a keen interest in movement, both as an animator moving images and objects frame by frame to build narrative films, and in his kinetic sculptures that produce sound and lo-fi animation effects. This fixation is also conveyed emotionally through his films—gothic fables woven from curious biographical details that reveal fascinations with death and spirituality, love and obsession. Nowhere are these motifs explored more intensely and poetically in his work than with Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then.

Gravity chronicles the real life story of Leonard Wood, an eccentric Louisville man who, upon learning of his wife Mary’s cancer diagnosis, began a decades-long project of building their home into a “healing machine.” Long after Mary’s death, Wood continued to refashion and build onto this sprawling, bizarre maze of rooms as a way to cope with his heartbreak.

To make the film, the artist built five full-scale versions of the Wood home on Green’s Pennsylvania farm. The film is Green’s first attempt using speaking actors and utilizes frame-by-frame stop-motion animation techniques. Gravity will have its West Coast premiere at BAM/PFA on June 16.

The BAM/PFA gallery installation features Green’s handmade kinetic sculptures that produce what Green calls “effects of wonder.” The most prominent piece is a monolithic 13-voice sound machine based on Thomas Edison’s early wax cylinder recorders. This piece is flanked by a series of smaller animation machines crafted from sewing trestles and accordions. Excerpts from Gravity will also be on display in the gallery.

Green, a sculpture and filmmaker, works in a barn in Cressona, Pennsylvania. His work has been a regular feature at Sundance, and received acclaim at the Hammer Museum, Wexner Center for the Arts, Walker Art Center, and Getty Museum of Art. Gravity premieres at the IFC Center in New York on May 7, 2010; upcoming screenings and exhibitions in 2010 include MoMA, New York; SITE Santa Fe Biennial; DiverseWorks, Houston; and Arizona State University Art Museum. Brent Green is a 2005 Creative Capital grant recipient.

The exhibition is curated by Phyllis Wattis MATRIX Curator Elizabeth Thomas.

Opening Reception
Sunday, May 2, 5 p.m.
Bancroft Lobby

Sunday, May 2, 6 p.m.
Museum Theater
Admission Free!
Brent Green performs with Brendan Canty (Fugazi) and Donna K. The program includes animated short films with live narration and improvised soundtracks.

Film Premiere
Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then
Wednesday, June 16, 7:30 p.m.
PFA Theater
Brent Green in person

The MATRIX Program at the UC Berkeley Art Museum is made possible by a generous endowment gift from Phyllis C. Wattis; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees.

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive 

Gallery Hours:
Wednesday to Sunday, 11 to 5; open L@TE till 9 on most Fridays

Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Press contact: 
Peter Cavagnaro

University of California Berkeley, Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA)

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University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)
April 22, 2010

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