Even on a quiet Tuesday in June, I’ll find a worthy distraction for you, and today, it’s the new issue of the Brooklyn Rail. We begin with Amalia Cordova: “Chilean-born artist Juan Downey (1940-1993) is best known as a pioneer videomaker who persistently pushed the boundaries between ethnography, autobiography, and media arts, immersing himself in a quest to explore issues of identity in the Americas and in Western culture, and bridging indigenous worldviews with cutting-edge, experimental communication technologies…. The long-overdue first US retrospective of his work is currently on view at the Bronx Museum, offering a concise yet representative sampling of his major works.”
If you’re in New York, you have until Sunday to take in Juan Downey: The Invisible Architect. Fair warning, though: Martha Schwendener, writing for the New York Times back in March, argues that “museums do not know how to exhibit video. The installation of Mr. Downey’s mature works in the current show qualifies as a crime against art, since several of them are set up so closely in the back gallery that the audio tracks literally interrupt and cancel each other out. The effect would be comic—the ultimate version of exhibition design as postmodern pastiche—if it weren’t so depressing. This, after all, is the first major survey of Mr. Downey’s work in this country, and to see it mishandled this way is yet another testament to how video, more than 40 years into its life as an art medium, is still treated like the unwanted stepchild of contemporary art.”
“Jacqueline Goss‘s new film The Observers (2011) follows two climatologists through their daily routine of recording weather patterns at the top of Mount Washington,” writes Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa. “We peer curiously at both them and the objects that surround them, as their internal lives remain cut off from our view, not unlike the mysterious contents of the sealed box the scientists attempt to open in the film. I sat down with Jacqueline after one of her screenings at Anthology Film Archives to talk about her film, Robert Bresson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and science fiction.”
“In the hands of Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg, animation becomes a medium for transgressive and nightmarish allegories of desire and malcontent,” reads the New Museum’s text for The Parade: Nathalie Djurberg with Music by Hans Berg, on view through August 26. BR associate art editor Kara L. Rooney reviews the multimedia installation and talks with Jim Leedy, “the legendary Abstract Expressionist sculptor” who’s the subject of Leedy: The Documentary, due for a release this fall.
And this issue also features two graphic reviews (literally, but a bit figuratively, too) by Troy Swain, the first of Jane Arden’s Other Side of the Underneath (1972) and the second of Peter Whitehead’s The Fall (1969).
In other news. The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (June 29 through July 7) has announced its Competition lineup, featuring eight world premieres and four international premieres.
And then there’s this: “The actor Pierfrancesco Favino, one of the leading artists of the new generation of forty-year-olds who are changing the Italian star-system, and director and producer Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth, The Four Feathers), the most prestigious of Indian filmmakers at the international level, will be the Presidents of the Juries respectively for the Orizzonti and the ‘Luigi de Laurentiis’ Venice Award for a Debut Film sections of the 69th Venice International Film Festival of the Biennale di Venezia (29 August-8 September 2012).”
Back to New York. This evening at 7, Artforum editor Michelle Kuo will discuss Whitney Biennial 2012 with curators Jay Sanders and Elisabeth Sussman and their co-curators on the film program, Thomas Beard and Ed Halter.
Los Angeles. Outfest (July 12 through 22) has announced its 30th anniversary lineup.
Berlin. Kostümfilme, a two-month-long series of costume dramas, launches on Saturday at the Zeughaus Kino to accompany the German Historical Museum’s exhibition Fashioning Fashion, on view through July 29.
In the works. Woody Allen has rounded out the cast of his next project with two comedians, both of them unexpected but in radically different ways: Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay. They’ll be joining Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Emerson, Sally Hawkins, and Peter Sarsgaard. Shooting’s slated for the summer in New York and San Francisco. Deadline‘s Mike Fleming has the brief press release.
Photos. Flavorwire posts a preview of Joel W. Finler’s Hollywood Movie Stills, “a gorgeous gallery of never-before-seen cinematic stills, photographs, production artwork, and more from the author’s personal collection.” The Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth is “immediately struck by the reverence toward the talents and films the photos hold.”