Red Grooms & Friends
Since the late 1950s, American artist Red Grooms has amassed a major body of work that includes sculpture, painting, printmaking, performance, and filmmaking. Whimsical and surreal, Grooms’ films harken back to the earliest cinematic experiments of auteurs like Georges Méliès and the comedic master Buster Keaton. This program includes two classic films by Grooms, as well as a film made in collaboration with Rudy Burckhardt.
The screening will be followed by a discussion between Red Grooms, Philadelphia-based artist Will Brown, and PAFA curator Robert Cozzolino.
dir. Red Grooms, US, 1973, 16mm, 43 min.
“I've always been interested in the theatre, and I was always fascinated that the biggest theatre that there ever was in New York was called the Hippodrome. And in the Hippodrome they put these enormous works on that were almost avant-garde because they were so big - they had horses charging in; really crazy stuff... And the 'hardware' in my title can refer to the mechanics of the theatre as opposed to the software. To me it's like a very strong metaphysical quality in theatre, this creaky thing: trying to make these inanimate things work, and the size and so forth involved. Plus the film is about people like carpenters building things, which uses hardware. There are different plays back and forth on the title.” --R. G.
dir. Rudy Burckhardt, US, 1965, 16mm, b/w, 36 min.
"Happy with his luscious daughter Aurora in a rustic setting, Professor Borealis has devised an improved brain and is ready to transplant it. From this point the action keeps turning corners. A really great performance by Red Grooms. Photography and direction are highly personal but poker-faced. The humor is tenderly black. Burckhardt's fusion of documentary-type photography with fairy tale
story line is nearer Keystone than avant-garde with its visual honesty and particular virtuosity." -- Edwin Denby
dir. Red Grooms, US, 1969, 16mm, 19 min.
The last underground musical! Two years in the making! Created by Red Grooms, 'the Bernini of Pop Art.'--John Canaday, N.Y. Times. An extravaganza with all stops out: captures the stylish flamboyancy of Mr. Busby Berkley's shimmering 1930's magic combined with the political bullyism of Major Daley's Chicago--1968. 16mm bulges at the scenes!--R.G.