Beauty Becomes the Beast

Downtown New York Film: The 1970s and 1980s

March 28–29, 2015

Some called it “punk,” some called it “postmodern,” but downtown New York film brought a new look to the avant-garde. Women artists were in equal measure to men, and images of the body returned after a period of minimalism. The new films from the 1970s and 1980s reflected a New York moment, the city itself, deserted streets, music at night, and rebellion in the air. But they also present a time and place that was slipping away, when New York still looked bohemian, and stories edged toward narrative but always remained outside the mainstream. This weekend of downtown films features rare screenings of work by such artists as Ericka Beckman, Vivienne Dick, James Nares, Amos Poe, Cindy Sherman, Eric Mitchell, Robert Longo, and many personal appearances.

Guest curator: Vera Dika, author of The (Moving) Pictures Generation: The Cinematic Impulse in Downtown New York Art and Film (2012, Palgrave Macmillan)

Empire II