VIDEO


BRUCE CONNER: IT'S ALL TRUE

 

This half-day symposium examines Conner's relationships to artistic communities in and outside of California; his collaborators in the fields of poetry and music; female subjects; and his crucial involvement with avant-garde cinema and underground film communities.

 

Bruce Conner (1933-2008) was one of the foremost American artists of the postwar era. Emerging from the California art scene, in which he worked for half a century, Conner's work touches on various themes of postwar American society, from a rising consumer culture to the dread of nuclear apocalypse.

 
 

The curator of the exhibition Bruce Conner. It's All True talk about one of the most pre-eminent American artists from the second half of the twentieth century. Conner’s work emerged from the California art scene and addressed wide-ranging questions concerning American society in the post-war era: from the burgeoning consumer culture to the dread of nuclear apocalypse. In his work he cultivated alternate mediums - now the hallmarks of 21st-century art - adopting different techniques and often creating hybrid pieces midway between painting and sculpture, film and performance, drawing and printing.

 
 

Bruce Conner was many things, among them a filmmaker, a mixed-media artist, a Beat, a punk, and a notorious prankster. In this collage of rare archival footage, Bruce Conner discusses how, as an artist, he can't be pinned down and doesn't want to be. Decades after his groundbreaking work first appeared, it's still all true.

 

Jean Conner talks Bruce Conner for SFMOMA's retrospective IT'S ALL TRUE.

 
 

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It's been said that MTV owes Bruce Conner a paycheck. Decades before music videos were part of popular culture, the experimental filmmaker pioneered techniques of non-narrative montage and high-speed editing, cutting thousands of images to a pop music soundtrack. 

 

Dennis Hopper has described the experience of seeing Bruce Conner's A MOVIE (1958) like lifting the veil from his eyes, an associative blur of images that would go on to influence the infamous acid trip scene in his film Easy Rider.

 

One of two short films Bruce Conner made for Brian Eno and David Byrne's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts-a defining work of musical assemblage-MEA CULPA (1981) comes near the end of Conner's active filmmaking career.

 

It may have been an unusual sight-an elder statesmen from the Beat Generation hanging out at Mabuhay Gardens at the height of punk, taking pictures of bands like Negative Trend and slam dancing with teenagers. But Bruce Conner was restless and the energy of punk invigorated him.

 
 

American cinema changed dramatically over the course of the 1960s, during which time the scope, shape, and content of film was rigorously challenged. Eager to break away from the domination of narrative features of this period, film artists used fresh, renegade styles to explore both the structure of edited composition and the lyrical nature of celluloid images.

 
 

MCA Denver Spring 2012 Opening - Bruce Conner, Type A and Richard Peterson

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February 1-28th 2010 CREATIVE TIME presents a mini-retrospective of Bruce Conner's films. TEN SECOND FILM (1965) CROSSROADS (1976) EASTER MORNING (2008) Bruce Conner film excerpts edited by Michelle Silva Video edited by Curtis Tamm.

 
 

theartVIEw dives into Bruce Conners "The 70s". The Kunsthalle Wien shows paintings and films by one of the pioneers of today's visual film language we all know from MTV. Although he was friends with the big names of the Beat Generation and Hollywood like Jack Kerouac and Dennis Hopper and influenced several generations of artists and filmmakers he has remained an insider's tip.

 
 

The Soul Stirrers: By and By is a work-in-progress, feature-length documentary about the individuals and history behind the revolutionary gospel quartet, the Soul Stirrers, best known for their most charismatic member Sam Cooke. Founded in 1926 by Roy Crain in Trinity, Texas, the innovative quartet developed new vocal techniques and arrangements pioneered by their group leader, R.H. Harris, who became famous for his falsetto style and great influence on gospel, R&B, and secular music. The filming began in 1984 when renowned artist and filmmaker, Bruce Conner (1933-2008) and Henry S. Rosenthal organized a reunion of original members from the group’s golden era in the 1940’s and ‘50’s. Conner filmed the main figures of the group on location in Texas, Illinois, and California documenting rehearsals, performances, as well as intimate, personal interviews. The Soul Stirrers have a unique history as the first African-American traveling gospel group, made possible through relationships built from church to church while traveling through the repressive, segregated and threatening America of that time. Their story parallels discernable and dramatic changes in American society over eight decades. It remains important to finish this unseen document of one of the most influential groups in music history, and to bring the feature film envisioned by Bruce Conner to fruition. Featuring original Soul Stirrers, R.H. Harris, S.R. CrainePaul Foster, and artist, Bruce Conner.

 
 

Bruce Conner and Dennis Hopper, Gallery Paule Anglim, 1995