The Arts at Amherst Initiative’s Spring Soirée gives arts faculty and staff members a chance to socialize over drinks and food at the Bailey Brown House. As part of the Soirée, Emily Potter-Ndiaye, Dwight and Kirsten Poler & Andrew W. Mellon Head of Education and Curator of Academic Programs at the Mead Art Museum, and Bradford Garvey, Joseph E. and Grace W. Valentine Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Amherst College, will give short presentations on their recent work. Food and drinks will be provided!
This event is open to all faculty and staff!
75 Dollar Bill was formed in 2012 in New York City by percussionist Rick Brown and guitarist Che Chen. Played on a deeply resonant plywood crate, Brown’s earthy, elemental rhythms are both the foundation and the foil for Chen’s ecstatic, modal guitar style. The duo’s electric, richly patterned music can shape-shift from joyful dance tunes to slowly changing trance minimalism, an uncategorizable hybrid which draws on the modal traditions of West Africa, India and the Middle East, early electric blues, Sun Ra’s space chords and the minimalist and No Wave histories of their hometown. While Brown and Chen are always at the band’s core, the duo frequently expands into other configurations live and on record, from trio to 25-piece marching band.
Selected Video Works presents four videos by Mariah Garnett made between 2010 and 2014. These works represent the early cornerstones of her experimental documentary practice. In all four films, the relationship between subject and filmmaker is foregrounded, calling into question the power dynamics at play in representational art practices.
“Garbage, The City, And Death” uses a Fassbinder text to reframe a real-life relationship between long-lost siblings as a romantic rivalry. It was Garnett’s first attempt to mix theatricality with a real relationship between herself and her subject.
“Picaresques” takes its inspiration from Lieutenant Nun, the autobiography of a transgender conquistador at the turn of the 17th century as its inspiration and abruptly becomes a portrait of Garnett’s own friendship with a 9-year-old tomboy from Santa Monica. It is an attempt to look to the past and future for heroes of a similar gender to the artist’s own.
“Encounters I May or May Not Have Had with Peter Berlin” moves through phases of idolization, anxiety ending in a touchdown in reality in a conversation between the artist and Berlin himself. This is the first film in which Garnett used impersonation as a strategy for representing her subject.
Finally, “Full Burn” marks a shift in Garnett’s practice away from overtly queer themes to the geopolitical. It is a portrait of four U.S. war veterans who have continued to use their own physicality to earn a living, three as stunt men and one as a massage therapist. It is a meditation on masculine duty, trauma and re-enactment.
Mariah Garnett is an artist and filmmaker who lives and works in Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. in American civilization and an M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts in film/video. In 2019 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Film/Video for her feature film, Trouble, which premiered at the London Film Festival and was named one of the best documentaries of the year by Sight + Sound. Her work has screened and been exhibited internationally at venues including The New Museum, The Hammer Museum, Tate Belfast, REDCAT, SFMoMA and her exhibiting gallery, Commonwealth + Council. She is a MacDowell Fellow, and her work has been featured in Bomb, Artforum and Reverse Shot.