BRUCE CONNER: The Seventies

Painting / Drawing / Film

October 8, 2010 – January 30, 2011

Offering a comprehensive, cross􏰀media selection of works, the exhibition in the Kunsthalle Wien sheds light on formally aesthetic parallels between Bruce Conner’s production as an artist and as a filmmaker. The show comprises more than one hundred items: drawings, oil and acrylic paintings, lithographs, prints, photograms, photographs, and three films made at the same time: BREAKAWAY (1966) with the dancing and singing Toni Basil, CROSSROADS (1976), which is based on documentary shots of the nuclear tests in the Bikini Archipelago, and MARILYN TIMES FIVE (1968–1973), a rendering of the evergreen I’m Through With Love by a Monroe look alike. Ephemera from performances in the spirit of Duchamp, such as buttons, newspaper articles, posters, and documentary material, reveal a largely unknown conceptual dimension of Bruce Conner. One highlight of the exhibition is his last major room spanning video installation THREE SCREEN RAY, a recycling fireworks of his entire filmic work with Ray Charles’s What’d I Say as a sound track. From October 8 to November 30, 2010, the musical films AMERICA IS WAITING and MEA CULPA, produced together with Brian Eno and David Byrne, and the video for Devo’s hit Mongoloid are screened in the Ursula Blickle Video Lounge.

The exhibition in the Kunsthalle Wien with its special focus on the 1970s is the first major solo presentation of his work in Europe Bruce Conner’s experimental fi lms are regarded as forerunners of the MTV video clip today. Yet the avant-gardist has not only shown new ways of filmmaking, but repeatedly reinvented himself as an artist in his works in various media.