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Get with The Program

by Danielle Georgiou 21 Jul 2010 2:10 PM

Moviegoers – looking for a little art in your films? Well, The Second Program is just the ticket.


Guest blogger Danielle Marie Georgiou is a dance lecturer at the University of Texas Arlington. She also serves as assistant director of  UT Arlington’s Dance Ensemble.

Moviegoers – looking for a little art in your films? Well, The Second Program is just the ticket!

Presented by the Video Association of Dallas, the second Dallas video art biennial, known as The Second Program for short, brings to the city international work that for the most part would not have any other venue in this area. With the goal to educate Dallas on how to recognize good video art, The Second Program’s unique selections give a clue into what visual culture can be.

The Program began in 2008, with more than 60 showings and installations curated by Carolyn Sortor, Charles Dee Mitchell and Bart Weiss and presented at the Conduit Gallery. Its biennial incarnation presents a tighter schedule with four free one-night screenings and different venues across Dallas, including the Dallas Museum of Art the Angelika Film Center, as well as at Conduit. Also new this year is a shift away from new media art to “video art.” The videos selected deal with experimental senses of time. You can see the Think TV interview with Mitchell about this year’s Program here.

The Second Program opens with a screening of Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then at the DMA on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Creative Connections. Directed by Brent Green, a self-taught animated filmmaker and artist from Cressona, Pa., the feature-length film centers on the true story of Leonard Wood, an unknown hardware store clerk from Louisville, Ky., who worked tirelessly throughout the 1970s to create an original, bizarre (and since destroyed) residence. Wood hoped that his unimaginably tiered floors, vaulted ceilings and twisted, heaving walls might somehow save his wife, Mary, from her terminal cancer. Following her death, Wood tuned his healing machine for another 20 years, before toppling from its roof, leaving him broke and incapacitated.

A scene from Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then.

Green’s work has been a regular feature at numerous film festivals, including Sundance (2006-09), BAM Next Wave (2007) and the Rotterdam International (2006). A passed-down Appalachian wisdom permeates Green’s hardscrabble fables, as he is commanding but exposed, sharing a deep connection with his characters. He wrings hope from the discarded and disheveled to weave together a unique and personal Americana.

Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then recently played at the IFC Center in New York and was designated a Critic’s Pick by The New York Times. Click here to see an interview with Brent Green.

The Second Program continues through early August:

  • July 22: Premiere event of Brent Green’s Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then at the Dallas Museum of Art. 7:30 p.m., Center for Creative Connections.
  • July 31: Opening night of The Second Program at Conduit Gallery, an exhibition curated by Charles Dee Mitchell featuring work by David Askevold, Jon Gitelson, Matthew Day Jackson, Luke Murphy, Jason Rhoades, Erin Shirreff and Bill Viola. (Exhibition continues through Aug. 28.)
  • Aug. 4: Dallas premiere of Rape of the Sabine Women by Eve Sussman and the Rufus Corporation at the Angelika Film Center.
  • Aug. 7: An evening of short films curated by Bart Weiss at the Conduit Gallery, including new work from Jem Cohen, Guy ben Ner, Ken Tin Kin Hung and a 3D work (with glasses provided).
  • Aug. 8: Area premiere of Double Take, a film by Johan Grimonprez at the Angelika Film Center.