Sunday, February 28, 2010

Darkest Americana & Elsewhere IV

James Benning: Milwaukee to Lincoln, Montana lecture

McBean Theater (at the Exploratorium)

James Benning in-person
presented in association with the Exploratorium‘s Cinema Arts Program
[members: $5 / non-members: $10]

The figure of the artist, explorer or philosopher working in contemplative isolation figures prominently in the American narrative. In 2007 and 2008, in an act of private contemplation of this archetype, James Benning constructed replicas of two famous sites of this tradition: the cabin of Henry David Thoreau—built in 1845 at Walden Pond—and contemporary radical environmentalist Theodore Kaczynski’s cabin near Lincoln, Montana. Imagining these figures as the idealistic alpha and nihilistic omega of the American hermetic philosophical tradition, Benning will discuss this project as the centerpiece of an autobiographical presentation that characterizes the evolution of his own work and thought as an artist endeavoring to balance the introspective impulse with the urgencies of social engagement. (STEVE POLTA)

For series overview see Program One.

Download program notes