Many of the most defining moments of Charlie Chaplin’s career come from his 1925 film The Gold Rush: Chaplin’s Tramp, hollow-eyed from hunger, eating his own shoe. The Tramp transforming into a giant chicken as his starving friend Big Jim hallucinates. The Tramp and Big Jim, scrambling to stay alive as their shack teeters on the edge of a cliff. Chaplin transforming two rolls speared on forks into a pair of nimble, dancing feet. The Gold Rush is one of Chaplin’s most fully realized expressions of lightness and darkness, comedy and tragedy—and a great introduction to Chaplin and silent comedy, too. Continue Reading
On July 24th, The Walker Center opened Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art. This is the final presentation of an art survey that has its origins at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and has been presented in New York by The Studio Museum in Harlem and NYU Grey Art Gallery. Curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver, this expansive presentation offers a look at performance art by black visual artists.Radical Presence begins, in linear time, with Benjamin Patterson’s work with Fluxus. Fluxus as a movement, as a style, took performance and art out of the “institution” and into streets, houses and other public spaces. Some practitioners took the work to be anti-art, removing the intellectualism of the art world to focus on experience. Continue Reading
Yes, it’s true — Memorial Day weekend is upon us already! With AAA predicting an estimated 36.1 million people set to travel for the holiday, it makes sense that this weekend is a bit lighter on the festivals. However, there’s still plenty to see and do around town this weekend. See what’s on tap below:Walker on the Green: Artist Designed Mini Golf, May 22 – September 1The Walker’s popular mini-course – each hole individually designed by a local artist – is back and better than ever. The titling maze game, gopher hole votex and other favorites from last year’s course are back, plus new soon-to-be favorites! Continue Reading
Ragamala Dance’s directors Aparna Ramaswamy and Ranee Ramaswamy collaborate with jazz saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa for the Walker Art Center’s newest commission entitled Song of the Jasmine. According to their website, Ragamala Dance studio draws “from the myth and spirituality of our South Indian heritage to make dance landscapes that dwell in opposition–secular and spiritual life, inner and outer worlds, human and natural concerns, rhythm and stillness–to find the transcendence that lies in between.” The jasmine flower goes to the heart of sensorial worship in India, used not only for hair ornaments (as the dancers wore in this production) but also in worship rituals and even to bathe deities. This piece captures the essence of the flower, addressing and visualizing the poet Andal’s longing and the religious desire to connect, multisensorially with the god Vischnu–on the road to surrender.This newest commission from the Walker Art center draws on the poetry by the 8th Century Tamil mystic poet Andal. In 143 verses, called the Nachiar Tirumozhi (sacred sayings of the goddess), she wrote of her intense longing for Vishnu, the Supreme God in Vaishnavism Hiduism. Song of Jasmine expresses the poet’s intense longing for Vishnu. The songs are commonly used in rituals and serve as guidance how one can attain a state of bliss by surrendering body mind and soul to the Divine Existence (from a translation provided in the program).The tension created on stage comes from the refined movement and the relentless rhythm that drives the dancers on towards Vishnu, perhaps. Continue Reading
The 2012 Internet Cat Video Festival was a zeitgeist moment if ever there was one. Over 10,000 people crowded the green hill outside of the Walker Art Center to pay tribute to the many felines that undoubtdley have gotten them through late nights and workplace tedium. Views of the screen were premium and it was clear that no one, including the Walker Art Center, anticipated just how many people would show up to watch something you could see online. The mood throughout that screening was electric, the sensation of knowing that you were part of something deeply unique and special. In it’s own LOL-way, the cat video festival was the most anyone could hope a film screening would be. Continue Reading
This year’s Rock the Garden was rather local-heavy, so it seemed only natural that the local band that’s been creating quite the local buzz of late was first up on the bill. That band is Howler. I may be biased in saying this, but they are not to be underestimated by their age (which, mind you, is not that young at all). I’ve seen them once before at their Varsity Theater show and so I have a bit of a comparison point.
On a lovely spring evening over 100 people stayed inside to listen to five educations experts talk about education policy in the Twin Cities schools. Participants did not give up the great weather for a dry policy wonk debate. Instead, they were treated to a spirited and civil panel discussion sponsored by the McKnight Foundation and the Urban Education Institute (UEI) at the University of Chicago.
A series of 16 film screenings by one of Japan’s most controversial and skilled filmmakers will include two which explore the relationship of Korea and Japan in the post-war era. The retrospective collection of films by Nagisa Oshima will be held at the Walker Art Center from November 5 through 23. The films that specifically address Korea-Japan relations are: Death by Hanging (Koshikei), to be shown Sunday, November 16 at 2 p.m.; and Diary of a Yunbogi Boy (Yunboggi no nikki), to be shown Thursday November 20, at 7:30. The Diary of a Yunbogi Boy is a free screening and is shown along with A Town of Love and Hope (Ai to kibo no machi). The screening of Death by Hanging (1968) will be accompanied by an introduction and post-screening discussion led by Christopher Scott, Assistant Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures, Macalester College, St. Continue Reading