The Warhol will soon unveil Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei, an exhibition exploring the significant influence of these two artists on modern and contemporary life, focusing on the parallels, intersections, and points of difference between their practices—Warhol representing 20th-century modernity and the “American century,” and Ai representing life in the 21st century and what has been called the “Chinese century” to come. In conjunction with show, the museum will host daily screenings of the 2012 documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.
Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Alison Klayman, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is the inside story of China’s most famous international artist, and most outspoken domestic critic. Against a backdrop of strict censorship and an unresponsive legal system, Ai expresses himself and organizes people through art and social media. In response, Chinese authorities have shut down his blog, beat him up, bulldozed his newly built studio, and held him in secret detention.
The film captures a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China, and her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures.
The film will show daily at 2 p.m. from June 3rd through August 28th in the Warhol theater. Film schedules are subject to change. Free with museum admission
In celebration of Black History Month, Citiparks will present A History on Film: A Tribute to African American Contribution to Film, a collection of photographs honoring 20 influential actors and actresses, writers, producers and directors with Pittsburgh roots. On February 1st, Citiparks will kick off the exhibit, which will reside in the lobby of the City-County Building, with an opening reception.
The event will include remarks by Mayor William Peduto, as well as appearances by two subjects featured in the exhibit, actress-turned-skin care entrepreneur Kimmarie Johnson and Najaa Young, writer-director of Blood First, a locally-produced film about two half-brothers whose love and loyalty to each another is tested by the code of the streets.
The opening reception for A History on Film: A Tribute to African American Contribution to Film will take place at 6 p.m. in the City-County Building lobby. In addition to the guest speakers, attendees can also enjoy refreshments and a performance by Bobby Short. The event is free and open to the public.
The exhibit will then be on view through February 29th, and will showcase subjects such as bandleader and actor Billy Eckstine, actor Bill Nunn, actress and writer Cherie Johnson, award-winning multi-hyphenate Billy Porter, and Pop Up Premieres founder Njaimeh Njie.
Over the past few weeks, The Night Gallery, a non-profit art space for emerging artists and musicians, has presented Creature Feature, a series containing horror movie portraits by renowned artist and gallery co-owner Cheryl Holford. On Dec. 13th, the venue will host a one-night only exhibition of Holford’s most troubling and gruesome creations.
Co-presented by Horror Realm, the Creature Feature Showcase will highlight 30 paintings depicting notable characters from such classic films as An American Werewolf in London, Beetlejuice, Ms. 45, and many more. All works will be available for purchase for $60 each and come with a Certificate of Authenticity.
The Creature Feature Showcase begins at 6 p.m. The event will also feature edibles from chef and co-owner Billy Holford’s Bad Ass Breads and music by DJ Samurai. Attendees can enter a 50/50 raffle for a chance to win two weekend passes to Horror Realm’s 2015 Spring Break Massacre show (raffle proceeds benefit the Western PA Humane Society). Admission is free. BYOB welcome.
Last month, Future Tenant unveiled Lucky After Dark, an archival exploration into the after-hours gay and lesbian scene in Pittsburgh from 1960 to 1990. The exhibition is the first from the Pittsburgh Queer History Project (PQHP), an ongoing oral history and media preservation initiative that, in 2012, began as an investigation of after-hours nightlife in East Liberty, and has since uncovered the city’s LGBT individuals and community formation through its collection. On June 21st, as part of the event, PQHP will present a special screening that highlights some of the scene’s greatest stars and starlets.
Performers Past and Present will shed light on archival footage of LGBT performers from the 1980s to the 2000s. Co-Presented by Queer Video Vault and overseen by host Mahogany La PiranHa, the evening will include a variety of music, comedy, and drag acts filmed on everything from U-Matic to VHS.
Performers Past and Present begins at 6 p.m. Free refreshements such as beer, hard cider, and popcorn are included. Guests are encouraged to attend an after party at Blue Moon Bar for food and drinks and a show by Tootsie Snyder.
The Silver Eye Center for Photography, a nationally-recognized, non-collecting institution, maintains a singular commitment to exhibiting and promoting contemporary photography and photo-based multimedia. This month, the Pittsburgh-based venue unveiled Here & Now: Queer Geographies in Contemporary Photography, which highlights the work of artists “embarking on physical and emotional journeys to define and discover queerness across the American landscape.” On May 29th, Queer Video Vault will present two films, the short The Ballad of Sexual Dependency and the 1998 drama High Art, as part of the exhibition.
Written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right), High Art follows a retired photographer and a young assistant magazine editor who exploit each other for their careers, while slowly falling in love. The film won the 1998 Sundance Film Festival Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, and garnered critical praise for its stars Ally Sheedy, Radha Mitchell, and Patricia Clarkson.
The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, an exploration of the career-defining work of photographer Nan Goldin, will screen prior to the feature presentation. Best known for her series of the same title, Goldin focuses on the post-punk/New Wave music scene and post-Stonewall gay subculture present in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and depicts drug use, violence, and autobiographical moments.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. at Silver Eye. Admission is free, but guests must RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org as space is limited. Here & Now will be on view at Silver Eye through June 19th.
Formed in reaction to violent sexism, racism and homophobia in the punk music scene and in the culture at large, Riot Grrrl emerged in the early 1990s and inspired many people around the world to pursue socially and politically progressive careers as artists, activists, authors and educators. Emphasizing female and youth empowerment, collaborative organization, creative resistance and DIY ethics, it helped a new generation to become active feminists who created their own culture and communities to reflect their values and experiences. Starting this month, the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University presents Alien She, the first exhibition on the lasting impact on artists and cultural producers of the pioneering punk feminist movement. On Sept. 26th, the documentary Sign Painters will be screened as part of the show.
There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade. Filmmakers Faythe Levine and Sam Macon document these dedicated practitioners, their time-honored methods, and their appreciation for quality and craftsmanship with Sign Painters. The film profiles sign painters young and old working in cities throughout the United States, from the new vanguard working solo to collaborative shops such as San Francisco’s New Bohemia Signs and New York’s Colossal Media’s Sky High Murals.
Presented by AIGA Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Sign Painters screens at 7:30 p.m. at the Harris Theater. Admission is $8, $7 for students, and $5 for CMU students/staff/faculty and AIGA Pittsburgh members.
Last June, the Warhol Museum debuted Genesis Breyer P-Orridge’s first solo museum exhibition, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: S/HE IS HER/E. The show highlights the career of the groundbreaking performance artist, pioneer of industrial music, “wrecker of civilization,” essayist, and, most recently, pandrogyne through works dating from the mid 1970s. In connection with the exhibit, the Genesis Breyer P-Orridge – fronted Psychic TV / PTV3 will perform a rare film-accompanied performance at New Hazlett Theater on August 16th.
Psychic TV made highly innovative and provocative music from the early 80’s to mid-90’s, blending elements of psychedelia and dance with Industrial sounds (known as “hyperdelic”). In 2003, drummer Edley ODowd of the legendary NYC rock band Toilet Boys persuaded Genesis to rekindle her rock spirit and Psychic TV, which became known as PTV3. The performance will be preceded by the debut screening of the Psychic TV: Dreams Less Sweet, which features the work 47 artists, creating a collective 45-minute film set to the band’s second album.
Doors for the event open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m. Tickets for the show are $25 general admission, $20 for members & students and are available for purchase at the Warhol website. Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: S/HE IS HER/E continus through Sept. 15th.
First opened in 1969 in a reconstructed bastion, the Fort Pitt Museum tells the story of Western Pennsylvania’s early history through a variety of exhibits and interactive displays. As a branch of the Heinz History Center, the museum focuses on the critical role that the area played during the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, the Whiskey Rebellion, and the founding of Pittsburgh. On August 9th, History Center members are invited to a preview of Unconquered: History Meets Hollywood at Fort Pitt, an exhibition featuring movie props and original documents from Unconquered, a 1947 film about the 1763 siege of Fort Pitt.
The sweeping Technicolor romantic adventure was directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and stars Gary Cooper, Paulette Goddard, and Boris Karloff. Set in the American colonies, it follows a Virginia captain who frees and falls in love with an Englishwoman sentenced to slavery. But a spiteful slave trader takes her away, setting the stage for a dramatic rescue amid an Indian uprising.
The member preview of Unconquered: History Meets Hollywood at Fort Pitt is free for History Center members and includes light refreshments. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. After the preview, regular admissions rates are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors over 62, $3 for students with ID and children ages 4-17, and free to members and children under 3.
Crafters and action movie fans rejoice! After two successful months, Lawrenceville gift shop Wildcard decided to extend its exhibition Craft Hard: Art Inspired by Action Movies until August 8th. The show, which opened on June 22nd and was originally scheduled to run until July 22nd, reinterprets action movie heroes through art forms such as needlepoint, quilting, illustration, sewing, screen-printing, and wood-working. The venue sweetened the deal with the addition of a special closing night screening of the Miami Connection, a re-discovered martial arts movie from the era of big hair, big muscles, and cheesy music.
Directed by Grandmaster Y.K. Kim, Miami Connection tells the story of fearless synth rock band Dragon Sound as they embark on a roundhouse wreck-wave of crime-crushing justice on the streets of Orlando. When motorcycle ninjas tighten their grip on Florida’s narcotics trade, viciously annihilating anyone who dares move in on their turf, it’s up to Mark (Kim) and the boys to destroy the dealers, the drunk bikers, the kill-crazy ninjas, the middle-aged thugs, the “stupid cocaine”…and the entire Miami Connection! Made in 1987, the long-lost film was acquired by Drafthouse Films, who re-released it last year.
Miami Connection screens on August 8th at 7 p.m. Guest can also enjoy free snacks and drinks, and late-night shopping until 9 p.m. The Craft Hard closing night is presented as part of Shop Late Night in Lawrenceville, a monthly event supporting the neighborhood’s local and independent retail businesses.
Since its founding in 2002, Future Tenant has sought to become Pittsburgh’s destination for raw, innovative artistic experiences from across all visual, literary and performing disciplines. Located on the city’s downtown Cultural District, the multidisciplinary art and performance space provides a laboratory setting for artists, arts managers, and audiences to explore the limits of the creative expression, presentation and interpretation of various art forms. On June 7th, the venue will showcase a film-related exhibition as part of the Three Rivers Arts Festival.
Inventory: The Orgone Archive, Pittsburgh 13 offers a decade’s worth of promotion and propaganda in the form of posters, stickers and bits of paper created by The Orgone Archive for its cinema outings. Orgone is a Pittsburgh-based motion picture archive and screening outfit specializing in inscrutable epiphanies, toilet trims, unknown what-have-yous, perfect industrial rolls, home movie printing tests, corporate comedies, Warholian strikebreaking screeds, the all-around beautiful and everything else. Originally founded in 1993 as Orgone Cinema by Jeff Armstrong, Michael Johnsen and Greg Pierce as a break-even motion picture exhibition group dedicated to a sincere film culture, it presented unique monthly shows of home movies, industrial, educational, experimental, and documentary films, light and sound performances, and visiting film and videomakers at the Silver Eye Center for Photography on the South Side. Orgone is also (and was) a traveling cinema band that screens and performs films at home and nationally.
The opening begins at 7 p.m. and continues until 10 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Guests can also enjoy complementary drinks courtesy of Straub Beer, Jack’s Hard Cider, and Johnnie Ryan Soda. Inventory will be on display until July 14th.