New York University’s 80WSE is proud to present the first institutional solo survey of work by Tony Conrad in 22 years, Doing the City: Urban Community Interventions, beginning September 12 and running through November 3. The exhibition is curated by Michael Cohen.
The exhibition is loosely based on the theme of community and education, and will debut two major films, originally produced 40 years ago. The benefit of lower completion costs of digital technology allowed Conrad to resurrect, complete and exhibit these previously archived and important experimental films for the first time.
“Loose Connection” (1973/2011) is an experimental documentary of family life on West 42nd Street where Conrad lived in the early 1970s. The 70s Structuralist Film uses a space shutter, a rotating camera mount that radically interrupts the viewer’s spatial orientation.
“Waterworks” (1973/2012) records a summer solstice street celebration that Conrad and Beverly Grant, the “Queen of the Underground,” produced in the middle of Times Square.
Episodes from “Studio of the Streets” (1990-94), the Buffalo-based 8mm News Collective’s popular cable TV community activist program, will be shown for the first time since documenta IX in 1992.
The experimental documentaries demonstrate interventions of New York City’s public spaces in the 70’s. The Buffalo works update this process in the then-forward-looking formats of video and public access cable TV.
About Tony Conrad Conrad, a pioneering American avant-garde video artist, experimental filmmaker, musician/composer, sound artist, teacher and writer, has shown at the Museum of Modern Art, documenta, Venice Biennale, Tate Modern and the LA Museum of Contemporary Art. His film The Flicker was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s exhibition, The American Century.