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Archives    Marya Summers art news Marya Summers is the former editor of Pandemonium art and literary magazine and  also the former art and theater writer for Free Press, Palm Beach County's alternative source for art and news.  Now, she's a freelance arts writer, a poetry and theater artist-in-residence in the public schools, an English instructor at PBCC, and the coordinator of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. www.palmbeachpoetryfestival.com





Keeping it reel

By Marya Summers

     With its film program Cine al Fresco, Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art www.palmbeachica.org made outdoor movie-watching part of the culture of downtown Lake Worth. The PBICA cinematic events have been regularly slated during the city’s Evenings on the Avenue, where locals gather to enjoy a festival-like atmosphere of music, arts, crafts, and food. Arguably, the screenings were the evenings’ highlight.
    Even in the early days, when fans had to suffer for their art by leaning against the hard south wall of the museum or perching on a cement curb to watch, the screenings were considerably well-attended. They have provided entertainment—and challenging cinematic art—not only for free but in other ways that theater-going experiences don’t.
  Keely Flow, film writer for South Florida’s Closer Magazine  www.closermagazine.com explains, “The traditional, dark theater affords everyone their own semi-anonymous, pseudo-private experience. We are all together in watching a film, and the group vibe enriches our experiences, but we don’t have to acknowledge each other in the way people do in an outdoor screening. Outdoors, the audience has greater cohesiveness—we deal with the elements together, we can see each other (for better or worse), and our freedom to stay or walk away reinforces our commitment to the experience.”
Over the next two months, PBICA will be offering films in conjunction with their current—and final—exhibit, I Feel Mysterious Today, which promises an exploration of “various contemporary conditions and understandings of the mysterious or enigmatic.” Connoisseurs of experimental film, and those who are merely experimentally curious, will enjoy The International Experimental Cinema Exposition http://www.experimentalcinema.com in February. The 90-minute program offers to film-enthusiasts what Flow acknowledges is “a very rare opportunity in South Florida.”
    Slated in March is Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock, the 1975 flick about picnicking women who mysteriously disappear.
    Now that the museum has announced its impending closure in late March, contemporary and conceptual art fans will have to trek south of the Palm Beach County border to satisfy their avant garde appetites.
    But the demise of the PBICA doesn’t mean the end of the three-year old film program. PBICA Curatorial Assistant and co-curator of the street-side screenings, Talya Lerman has teamed up with Melodie Malfa of the non-profit Sin Miedo Media to continue the tradition. This will be the second time that Lerman has rescued Cine al Fresco.
   “When Sybille Canthal (former Assistant Curator, PBICA) was leaving the museum, Cine al Fresco was in jeopardy, so I took it on as an important program for the museum. After I took the helm, Melodie and I began to screen films that explore contemporary themes: Japanese culture, underground scenes, cult favorites, urban versus rural, and films by young filmmakers and regional filmmakers,” Lerman says.
    Even once the event offered chairs to viewers, its previous screening location—on L Street—wasn’t always ideal, especially if cars were parked there or if passers-by were not considerate of movie-watchers. Now, they’ve co-opted the grassy lot behind the PBICA, which will offer more space, quieter surroundings, and an unobstructed view. The remaining two PBICA-sponsored cinematic events will be shown in this area.
    With the museum’s days numbered, Lerman hopes that the program will be allowed to continue to use the space once the museum closes. That way she and Malfa can continue to bring outdoor screenings to Lake Worth and offer such programs as Flick Fest, a juried show of teen filmmakers, as well as continue to provide a host-site to Palm Beach International Film Festival.
    “Outdoor films are a beautiful, casual, community experience. And considering how much Americans love their movies, they are downright patriotic,” Flow says.
Cine al Fresco takes place in the grassy lot behind the museum (601 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth) on South L Street. Chairs are provided courtesy of Regency Party Rentals.
   For information on Cine al Fresco, call 561-582-0006, ext. 1019. Cine al Fresco is screened in collaboration with Sin Miedo Media. For information on Sin Miedo Media programming, call 561-547-6686, ext. 2, or e-mail otwfilms@yahoo.com

Friday, February 4, 2005, 8:00 PM
PBICA hosts Experimental Cinema Exposition
PBICA, in collaboration with The International Experimental Cinema Exposition (TIE) presents a 90 minute program of experimental films by renowned filmmakers including Frank Biesendorfer, Deco Dawson, and Jonathan Schwartz. Christopher May, Director/Curator of TIE will field questions after the program.

Friday, March 18, 2005, 8:00 PM
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
Directed by Peter Weir
Three students and their school teacher disappear on an excursion to Hanging Rock, in Victoria, Australia. Following those who disappeared, and those who stayed behind, the film delights in the asking of questions, not the answering of them.


March 1, 2005: Deadline for SHOWTEL IV proposals. Last year 35 contemporary artists from South Florida and 400 art lovers attended this one-night only art event. Garnering press from The Palm Beach Post and New Times, this independent, installation and performance art exhibit was also named “Best Art Event of 2004” by City Link magazine. Proposals are now being solicited for the fourth annual event to be held Saturday, May 14, 2004 from 5 pm-midnight at Hotel Biba in West Palm Beach, Florida. The event seeks site-specific installation in all media—including sculptural, performance, video/projections, sound, and more. Artwork can be installed in a room or around the grounds of the hotel including the lobby, courtyards, pool and garden areas. For submission guidelines, please contact curator Kara Walker Tomé at kara@armoryart.org.

Through March 27, 2005 : “I feel mysterious today,” work by an international group of emerging and established artists that explores various contemporary conditions and understandings of the mysterious or enigmatic. Working in a variety of mediums – from representational painting to abstract sculpture to video and sound installations – the artists present experiences that capture or embody the riddling and inscrutable aspects of the world around us. Selected artists include Douglas Gordon, Mike Kelley, Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt, Diego Singh, and Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg. Making their debuts in an American museum are Mary Redmond, Katja Strunz, and Kirstine Roepstorff. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue featuring an essay by the exhibition’s curator, Dominic Molon, Pamela Alper Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Organized by Palm Beach ICA.

Through May 1, 2005: Spain in the Age of Exploration 1492-1819. In this exhibit, The Norton Musuem of Art www.norton.org presents masterpieces from the collections of the Patrimonio Nacional. The exhibition features one hundred thirty-three objects, many leaving Spain for the first time, including masterworks by such artists as Bosch, Titian, El Greco, Velázquez and Goya, among others. Also included are sculptures, such as Bernini's Crucifix, decorative arts, suits of armor, tapestries, scientific instruments used by the early explorers, early maps, and first-edition books, including a rare 1494 account of Columbus's "discovery" of the Americas.



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