Woodland Pattern Book Center
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Experimental Film and Video Archive
  Experimental Film and Video
Friday, May 30, 7pm, $2
Woodland Pattern Experimental Film/Video Series
Presented by the UWM Department of Film

Athleticism vs. Aestheticism

Last fall, the director of athletics at Princeton suggested that sport be made a topic for academic study, and that to study athletics is no different than studying other performative art forms. He received, along with the journalist reporting the story, many hostile reactions. Those who protested the idea cited the long-standing bias American society has of valuing sports over the arts. Respondents decried letting a football player major in football, fearing the further tipping of the financial scales in favor of sport at the expense of the arts.

Running through this heated debate is the prevailing attitude that sport and art are mutually exclusive, or hostile members of a cultural binary.
from 'Milwaukee College Penguins', a video by Renato Umali
from 'Milwaukee College Penguins',
a video by Renato Umali
from 'Milwaukee College Penguins', a video by Renato Umali
from 'Milwaukee College Penguins',
a video by Renato Umali

In his book The Areas of My Expertise humorist John Hodgman characterizes the visibility of athleticism as dominant but shallow: "Please note that there are only two references to sports in this book...Both are appropriately dismissive. If you wish for sports information, might I kindly refer you to every other aspect of our culture?"

from 'Atlanta', a video by Miranda July
from 'Atlanta',
a video by Miranda July
from '101 Sheep', a video by Grgoire Bourdeil
from '101 Sheep',
a video by Grgoire Bourdeil

If sport pervades mainstream culture, what does a relatively underground artistic culture say about it? This program of short film and video will showcase underground/avant-garde artists' conceptions of sport and athleticism. The works as they are contextualized in this screening represent a diverse approach to the topic. They constitute a critique of, a longing for, and participation in sports and the cultural activities that surround it.

Represented sports include baseball, swimming, football, boxing, hockey, basketball and pole vaulting.

To Screen:

World Premiere! Milwaukee College Penguins - Renato Umali, 19 minutes, video, 2008.
This heart-warming documentary offers a window into the trials and victories of a unique football teams' winning season. These athletes are artists!

Atlanta - Miranda July, 10 minutes, video, 1996.
A 12-year-old Olympic swimmer and her mother (both played by July) speak to the public about going for the gold.

Joe DiMaggio 1,2,3 - Anne McGuire, 11 minutes, video, 1991.
The artist stalks and serenades Joe DiMaggio in her car as he strolls the docks, unaware that McGuire is secretly videotaping his every step.

101 Sheep - Grgoire Bourdeil, 4 minutes, video, 2007.
A re-photographed projection of pole-vaulters pass by a sleeping witness. Thanks to Joanna Chevalier and TALENTS for permission to screen 101 Sheep. TALENTS offers a collection of DVD art compilations. For more information, see:www.talentsvideo.com

Repeat Photography and the Albedo Effect - Caroline Koebel, 8 minutes, video, 2008.
This video intermixes unlikely suspects, including Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull, NPR reportage, and British artist Katie Paterson's audio project, to reflect upon the impact of global warming on glaciers. The violent boxing scenes from Raging Bull are re-shot off DVD with a Bolex 16mm camera and then hand-processed. Koebel applies the idiom of experimental film and artist's video to big-budget movies in order to speak about world affairs in what could be described as an alternate essay format.

Shooting Star - Jason Britski, 4 minutes, 16mm, 2002.
A film about mortality, a moving x-ray of small and grand gestures alike, a tribute to Canadian hockey legend Rocket Richard.

The UWM Film Department presents the Woodland Pattern Experimental Film/Video series once a month in the gallery space of Woodland Pattern Book Center. The series presents film and video screenings, presentations by visiting artists, and varieties of media performance.

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