Better Talked About Than Seen
The Andy Warhol Film and Discussion Program
Almost thirty years after his death, Andy Warhol’s film oeuvre is still not completely catalogued. Since the 1980s, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art have been working continuously and tirelessly “on the largest archival research project in the history of American avant-garde cinema.” Warhol withdrew his films from the public in 1972, but he could still be persuaded to support this project by the two museums. It must be assumed that his films were only shown rarely and often only in very private contexts during his own lifetime, and this has hardly changed to this day. As Warhol himself so fittingly said: “They’re better talked about than seen” (Flash Art, April 1987). To accompany the exhibition ANDY WARHOL EXHIBITS a glittering alternative, the program Better Talked About Than Seen focuses on Warhol‘s films. A selection of films, based on approaches in recent research by experts such as Donna De Salvo, Neil Printz, Claire K. Henry, Maja Naef, as well as Susanne Sachsse and Marc Siegel, enables both an understanding of their historical context and their discursive potential for today. In other words: we do not just want to show these films, we want to talk about them.
Friday, December 2, 6 pm
Public vs. Private in Warhol’s Films
This program examines the duality of public vs. private in Warhol’s filmmaking. Much like the early ballpoint drawings of male anatomy, Warhol made some films for private consumption only. These silent short films were never shown publicly and feature subjects drawn from Warhol’s closest circles: a lover, a fellow artist, and poets with whom he was intimate. In My Hustler, Warhol later shifted his focus to the then private and taboo subject of male hustling, shooting a film intended for public screenings and critical and box office appeal.
Henry in Bathroom, 1963, 16mm, b/w, no sound, 4:30 min (16 fps)
Kenward Elmslie, 1963, 16mm, b/w, no sound, 4:30 min (16 fps)
John Washing, 1963, 16mm, b/w, no sound, 4:30 min (16 fps)
Me and Taylor, 1963, 16mm, b/w, no sound, 4:30 min (16 fps)
My Hustler, 1965, 16mm, b/w, sound, 67 min
Curated and presented by Claire K. Henry
Claire K. Henry is the former Assistant Curator of The Andy Warhol Film Project at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Hired to assist the late renowned Warhol film scholar Callie Angell on the production of the second volume of the catalogue raisonné in 2007, Henry managed the project as assistant curator from 2015-2020 and is one of the authors of the second volume, published in 2021. She curated the film component of the Whitney's 2018 retrospective Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again. Henry has also programmed Warhol's films at various venues and has lectured widely on his film work in Europe and North America. She previously worked at the Museum of Modern Art in various curatorial, research, and educational capacities. She is currently a member of the research team on the Digital Corpus and catalogue raisonné of the works of Tom Wesselmann at the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, New York.
The program Better Talked About Than Seen was developed on the occasion of the exhibition ANDY WARHOL EXHIBITS a glittering alternative (September 25, 2020 – May 30, 2021), curated by Marianne Dobner.
Curated by Donna De Salvo & Neil Printz, Claire K. Henry, Maja Naef as well as Susanne Sachsse & Marc Siegel, together with Marianne Dobner & Naoko Kaltschmidt, Organisation: Barbara Schneider, projectionist: Wolfgang Konrad