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October 2008

(to September 2008)

Michel Auder

Viva and Andy Warhol in The Feature

The Feature, a film by Viva's ex-husband Michel Auder, will be shown as part of the London Film Festival on October 26 and 28, 2008.

Details here. Trailer here.

Stade Français Goes Pop

Stade Français' Pop Art team shirt (top) and their "Pink is Beautiful" shirt

The Paris rugby team, Stade Français (whose team colour is pink and whose theme song is "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor) has adopted a pop-art theme for their new (third) team shirt which features Warhol-like repeated images of a French queen. One rugby fan commented on the British site here, "Are they purposely trying to make every kit gayer as each season passes by?"

The shirts can be ordered through the club's website at: here.

Jonas Mekas presents Flux Party in London - October 17, 2008

On October 17, 2008, Londoners will have a rare opportunity to meet the man who was responsible for the proliferation of underground cinema in New York (and therefore the world) through the Filmmakers' Cooperative during the 1960s and later through the Anthology Film Archives. Although Warhol may have said he came from nowhere, Mekas really did - at least when he first arrived in the United States. As a politically active poet in Lithuania he was forced to escape during World War II and ended up living in various displaced persons camps in Europe until he finally arrived in New York in 1949 - the same year that Warhol moved there from the immigrant slums of Pittsburgh.

Jonas Mekas:

"When I left my home, when I left my small village (when I was twelve I made a list of all the people in my village and I came up with - if I remember it right - 22 families and 98 heads); when I left on a trip that eventually landed me in New York, I was 22 years old. I was a young man of some reputation... I had published my first poems and had created a scandal in the literary 'world' of Lithuania... But I had this strange thing in me: I was totally oblivious of my own life, my own past, my roots, ancestors. I had a total disinterest in life, in my immediate surroundings... I didn't know who my nieces or cousins or aunts were or any other relative of any kind. My ancestors were all the living and dead poets, philosophers, encyclopedists." (Jonas Mekas, I Had Nowhere to Go (NY: Black Thistle Press, 1991)

Once in New York Mekas turned to visual poetry through experimental filmmaking. In addition to making his own films, he started screening avant-garde films by other filmmakers at the Gallery East on Avenue A in Manhattan in 1953 and in 1955 began publishing Film Culture magazine with his brother Adolfas. By the early 1960s he was holding open screenings of experimental films at the Charles Theatre on Avenue B which became known as the Film-maker's Cinematheque (later also using the Bleecker Street Cinema and the Gramercy Arts Theatre as venues). Previously, experimental films had been shown by Amos Vogel's Cinema 16, but whereas Cinema 16 was for members only (to avoid censorship) and Vogel personally selected the films he showed, anyone could show during the open screenings at Mekas' equalitarian Cinematheque. One of the filmmakers who brought his films along to be screened at the Cinematheque was Andy Warhol.

Mekas' Flux Party will take place late at the Rio Theatre on the 17th. It begins at 11.15 pm and ends whenever it ends. Drinks and "Flux Cakes" will be served. Films include works by Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, John Cale, Robert Watts, George Brecht, Wolf Vostell, Chieko Shiomi, Paul Sharits and Ben Vautier. Mekas will be discussing Fluxus and his close friend, the late George Macuinas.

Details here.

Nathan Gluck R.I.P.

Nathan Gluck, Andy Warhol's commercial art assistant (beginning in 1955), died at the age of 90 years old on Saturday, September 27, 2008 in San Diego where he had moved from New York City last February.

Nathan Gluck:

"I taught him [Warhol] how to marbleize paper. All you do is sprinkle thinned-out oil paint on water and then lay paper down on top of it or simply immerse it. And that's marbling; except when you want a very definite pattern, you use a solvent that can hold the pattern... Andy did these strange marble things, and then he crumpled them up and just left them around on the floor... I thought Andy had installed them on the floor. Well, maybe by the time you came to see the show it was all on the floor. Andy had a very informal approach to a lot of things, and I think that approach carried on throughout his career. The blotting technique was basically a forerunner of silkscreen - in other words, he moved from one kind of a multiple to a more professional multiple." (See here)

An interview with Nathan Gluck can be found here.

Holly Woodlawn, Mary Woronov and Bibbe Hansen in London: October 9, 2008

Warhol stars Holly Woodlawn, Bibbe Hansen and Mary Woronov will be appearing together at the Purcell Room in London on October 9, 2008 in conjunction with the Hayward Gallery's Warhol exhibition: "Andy Warhol: Other Voices Other Rooms." I will be moderating the discussion.

Holly was the "Holly" in Lou Reed's song, Walk on the Wild Side: "Holly came from Miami F.L.A./Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A./Plucked her eyebrows on the way/Shaved her legs and then he was a she/She says, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side..."

Trash, Holly's first "Warhol" film (produced by Warhol/directed by Paul Morrissey), was one of the most commercially successful films released by Warhol. Distributed internationally it was the second highest grossing film in Germany in 1971 - after Easy Rider. When Hollywood film director George Cukor saw the movie he campaigned for Holly to be nominated for an Academy Award.

After Trash (which also featured Joe Dallesandro and Holly's then real-life boyfriend, 'Johnny'), Holly went on to make Women in Revolt and other non-Warhol art-house films - Scarecrow in a Garden of Cucumbers and Broken Goddess. In 2003 she appeared in the the film, Milwaukee, Minnesota with Randy Quaid, Bruce Dern and Josh Brolin and in 2004 was interviewed extensively in Craig Highberger's award-winning documentary about Jackie Curtis, Superstar in a Housedress. She also appears in the upcoming documentary on Candy Darling, Beautiful Darling (currently in post-production) and continues to perform her cabaret act in the U.S. and abroad.

A recent interview with Holly Woodlawn can be found here.

Mary Woronov starred in Hedy, The Chelsea Girls, a Screen Test, Kiss the Boot and Four Stars as well as performing onstage as a dancer in Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable featuring Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground (with Nico). After leaving the Factory, Mary went on to write five books and appear in more than a hundred films and television show episodes, including Eating Raoul and Rock 'n Roll High School (with the Ramones).

Bibbe Hansen was the daughter of Fluxus artist Al Hansen and first became involved with Warhol's Factory when she was "13 going on 43." She appeared with Edie Sedgwick in both Restaurant and Prison. About the Factory Bibbe recalls, "So many people that cruised through and/or wrote about the Factory actually came from quite middle class backgrounds and were easily horrified, I think. So much worse was going on in the shooting galleries, crash pads, and thieves’ dens that I was living and playing in at that time - the Factory was quite calm and tame by comparison.” About Edie Sedgwick she recalls, "She would drive us insane sitting there with her makeup case, just endlessly, endlessly doing her makeup while everybody was starving and late for the party and wanting to go and becoming so irate. Yeah, it took a couple of hours, but when she was done, she looked fabulous."

Bibbe currently lives in New York and remains active in the arts, performing some of her father's pieces at Fluxus events in Europe and the U.S.

Andy Warhol: Other Voices Other Rooms Opens in London on October 7, 2008

The TV-Scape section of Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms as photographed when the exhibition was at the Stedelijk Museum prior to its opening at the Hayward (Photo: Gert Jan Van Rooij)

A major Warhol exhibition, "Andy Warhol: Other Voices Other Rooms" opens at London's Hayward Gallery on October 7, 2008. It will be the most extensive exhibition of Warhol's work in London since the Warhol retrospective at the Tate Modern in 2001.

Organized by Eva Meyer-Hermann, the exhibition takes the viewer through various themed spaces designed by chezweitz & roseapple in Berlin who were also responsible for the scenography of the "Allan Kaprow - Art as Life" exhibition which toured Europe in 2007.

The main areas of the Warhol exhibition at the Hayward are:

1. Cosmos

This is the main section of the exhibition which winds through the gallery and includes Warhol's paintings, drawings, prints, Polaroids, Factory Diaries and a Time Capsule.

Of particular interest is the Time Capsule section. Warhol began the Time Capsules when he moved his studio and offices from 33 Union Square West to 860 Broadway in late 1974. Warhol was a hoarder and the 600+ Time Capsules he assembled during his lifetime contain his hoard of personal effects, ephemera and just about everything else he could stuff into a box from telephone messages to unopened envelopes, film scripts, newspaper articles and pornographic magazines. Matt Wrbican, the Chief Archivist of The Warhol museum in Pittsburgh will be travelling to London to personally oversee the installation of one of Warhol's Time Capsules at the Hayward.

An interview with Matt Wrbican about Warhol's Time Capsules can be found here.

2. Filmscape

This section is devoted to Warhol's films. Films by Warhol that will be shown continuously on large screens will include Sleep (starring poet and ex-Warhol boyfriend John Giorno), The Chelsea Girls (starring Brigid Berlin and Mary Woronov), Kitchen (with Edie Sedgwick) and Mrs. Warhol (starring Andy Warhol's mother).

One of the stars of The Chelsea Girls, Brigid Berlin (along with Vincent Fremont), will be making a rare personal appearance at the Hayward on November 24th.

3. TV-Scape

This section will concentrate on Warhol's television work and will include the screening of the 42 episodes from Warhol's television series as well as rarely screened videos.

Warhol's various television programs were produced by Vincent Fremont, the vice-president of Andy Warhol Enterprises Inc. and later a member of the Andy Warhol Authentication Board. Mr. Fremont will also be making a personal appearance at the Hayward with Brigid Berlin on November 24th. In 2000 Fremont co-directed (with Shelley Fremont) the excellent documentary on Brigid Berlin - Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story.

In total the Hayward's exhibition includes more than 700 items and is a rare oportunity to see all of the various aspects of Warhol's art - paintings, prints, video and film - in one show. Definitely, not to be missed. Extra events relating to the show are still being planned by the Hayward and will be posted here once confirmed.

See also "Warhol captured an era in his Time Capsules" by Bryan Appleyard (The Times) and "Shooting Stars" by Sean O'Hagan (The Observer).

Warhol Live in Montreal

"Warhol Live" opens at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on September 25, 2008 and runs until January 18, 2009. The exhibition concentrates on the role of music and dance in regard to Warhol's work and includes 640 works and objects, paintings, silkscreens, photographs, installations, films videos and album covers. Films being screened include Sleep, Empire, Screen Tests relating to the Velvet Underground, episodes of Andy Warhol's TV and music videos that Warhol produced for The Cars and Curiosity Killed the Cat (who will be performing at the O2 Arena in London in December).

Of particular interest is Warhol's 1948 drawing for the cover of his college magazine Cano - an early example of his "blotted line" technique and possibly the first example of Warhol's use of repetition in a work. (Warhol met John Cage while he (Warhol) was in college although later denied Cage's being aware of Cage's "concepts of musical seriality" in an interview with Benjamin H.D. Buchloh in 1985.)

Lectures scheduled in conjunction with the Montreal exhibition include: "Andy Warhol: Camouflage Man" by Thomas Sokolowski, director of The Warhol museum in Pittsburgh on September 23, 2008; "Andy Warhol Musician" by Stéphane Aquin, Curator of Contemporary Art at the museum on September 24, 2008; "Andy Warhol: The Record Covers 1949-1987" by Paul Maréchal, author of Andy Warhol: The Record Covers 1949-1987, Catalogue Raisonné, on October 1st (in French) and October 8th (in English); "Andy Warhol's Jukebox" by Craig Morrison, author of Rock And Roll (American Popular Music) on October 15th (in English) and November 19th (in French); and "Warhol: Motion Pictures" by Oksana Dykyj on November 2nd.

Films being shown in conjunction with the exhibition include Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film directed by Ric Burns; episodes of Andy Warhol's TV (produced by Vincent Fremont); Andy Warhol's The Chelsea Girls, John Cage: Fourteen; John Cale: An Exploration of His Life and Music; The Making of Fourteen and Warhol's Screen Test of Marcel Duchamp.

Andy Warhol's nephew is working on a second Warhol book

Andy Warhol by James Warhola

Andy Warhol's nephew, James Warhola, author of the children's book, Uncle Andy's due to be published in 2009.

to September 2008

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