November 28, 2011

Pratt Manhattan Gallery presents public lecture by Chris Petit

Pratt Institute
Content, video still by Chris Petit. Courtesy of Illuminations Films in association with More4 and ZDF in cooperation with ARTE.

Pratt Manhattan Gallery, in conjunction with its current exhibition, “Resonance: Looking for Mr. McLuhan,” will present “From Celluloid to Digital,” a free lecture by internationally renowned English filmmaker and author Chris Petit that will explore the transitions of his career over the last three decades. Petit’s feature-length essay film Content (2010), an informal remake of his first film, the cult classic Radio On (1979), is currently on display as part of the gallery’s exhibition “Resonance.” The lecture will take place at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, December 6 inside the gallery at 144 West 14th Street, second floor.


Petit’s prolific film career covers 35mm feature films, mainstream television, fiction, and documentary as well as avant-garde and sustainable digital experiment. His work often abandons traditional methods of filmmaking and film crews, moving deep into experiment outside conventional classification. His work, which some rank alongside that of filmmakers Chris Marker, Harun Farocki, and Artavazd Pelechian, has been recognized with revivals at Tate Modern, London and retrospectives at the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival, the Pesaro International Film Festival of New Cinema in Italy, the Vancouver International Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival. Radio On, which was backed by director Wim Wenders, was notable for a progressive music soundtrack featuring David Bowie and Kraftwerk, and was acknowledged by filmmakers Jim Jarmusch and Pedro Costa as a major influence on their work.


In addition to his work as a filmmaker, Petit is regarded as a leading exponent of the film essay, a status confirmed by major retrospectives in Europe and South America. Petit is a critic and the author of six novels, five published in the United States. He continues to write internationally as a reviewer and cultural commentator, and lectures at university conferences. He was film editor for Time Out London from 1973–78, overseeing the magazine’s ascendancy as a cultural influence. The first publication anywhere to give Martin Scorsese a good review, it also championed a then-unfashionable Clint Eastwood as director, New German Cinema, the rehabilitation of Powell & Pressburger, and the advent of Derek Jarman.


The lecture will be presented as part of “Resonance: Looking for Mr. McLuhan,” an exhibition of works from the 1960s to the present that commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the pioneering media critic Marshall McLuhan, now through December 21, 2011, at Pratt Manhattan Gallery at 144 West 14th Street, second floor. The exhibition demonstrates how McLuhan’s thinking resonates with contemporary artists and reflects how McLuhan’s work is still pertinent to the general understanding of our complex media environment. The exhibition is free and open to the public.


“Resonance” is a multi-media exhibition featuring drawings, installations, photographs, prints, sculptures, videos, and one full-length film by 19 artists. The exhibition is guest curated by Berta Sichel, former director of the Department of Audiovisuals and currently a curator at large at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, and assistant guest curator Mariano Salvador, a filmmaker and former assistant curator in the Department of Audiovisuals and Web coordinator, also at the Museo Nacional Centro de Art Reina Sofía.


In addition to Petit, participating artists include:


*    Terry Berkowitz
*    Com&Com
*    Monika Fleischmann & Wolfgang Strauss
*    Martin Kohout
*    Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
*    Marcel Odenbach
*    Nam June Paik & John Godfrey
*    Magdalena Pederin
*    Wolfgang Plöger
*    Txuspo Poyo
*    Joan Rabascall
*    Elena del Rivero
*    Juan Carlos Robles
*    Ignacio Uriarte
*    Wolf Vostell


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The exhibition and artist’s talk are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.


Pratt Manhattan Gallery
144 West 14th Street, Second Floor
Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 11 AM–6 PM


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