Recent works and words
by Steve Wetzel (in attendance!)
Saturday, October 18th at 7:00 pm, $7-10
The Nightingale is ecstatic to bring Steve Wetzel, his words and works back to Chicago. Like the people and places that populate tonight’s program, Wetzel work is unassuming, quotidian and idiosyncratic—uniquely itself and comfortable in its oddness. Taking the world and the millions of ways a life can be lived as sources, Wetzel’s crafts portraits of minor league hockey players, tick racers, inventors and laid-off fishermen, to name a few. There’s a Midwesternness, polite but peculiar, that permeates this work. In addition to his anthromentaries for the screen, Wetzel will present a few short readings.
Kid Beat Box: Twenty-two Tapes, Edit Nine, 2012, 9 minutes, video
In the end all biography is inadequate, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. There’s much to learn from these efforts. In saying this I don’t mean to suggest that Kid Beat Box is a biography; I don’t think it is, or if it is a biography, then that’s just part of the story, part of the experience: experiment in biography, anthromentary, experimental document, flimsy structuralist video, short documentary essay. Whatever the case it’s only nine minutes long, and we can handle that. (SW)
The First Shot is Silent, 2010, 15 minutes, video
The First Shot is Silent is about the commemoration of a once-thriving fishing village, now bulldozed into an industrial corridor. As with all progress, many experience its opposite: reversal into disappearance. The memorial merges the material and the spiritual by both preserving the idea and memory of something now vanished—really a sort of apology—and a physical marker that conjures the realness of geography and the actual bodies that once animated it. (SW)
Of the Iron Range, 2014, 19 minutes, video
Of the Iron Range documents a cultural event in a small Midwestern town (Cuyuna, Minnesota) that once held the nation’s supply of iron ore. Every year, people from across the region gather for a dynamic, convivial social performance where hundreds of wood ticks are gathered and raced. Deeply symbolic and rich in human observation, Of the Iron Range offers a portrait of one of America’s once-thriving industrial sites. (SW)
Steve Wetzel is an artist from Minnesota, USA, and currently teaches in the Film Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Over the past decade Wetzel has produced many works of experimental non-fiction and anthromentary video, and has shown nationally and internationally. Much of Wetzel’s work focuses on social construction and the everyday inscription of the human symbolic. These themes can also be found in a book he penned in 2010, Occasional Performances and Wayward Writings, that was described by his editor as “an urgent and generous exegesis . . . [a] re-collecting of thoughts and experience, a naming of bullshit.” The second volume is forthcoming.
Presented by Jesse Malmed
Filed under: artist in attendance, documentary, experimental, performance, reading, video