Exhibits

It’s summertime, and the seeing is easy: A film exhibit and a film festival, a history-museum reopening and more hot sights around the region.



Back in the day, movies were a major part of summer in Pittsburgh. Before most everyone had air conditioning, big-screen theaters lured us in with promises of air-conditioned comfort (at the old Warner Theatre downtown, you got Cinerama to boot). For those who preferred watching the latest attractions en plein air (to use a painterly expression), there were the even bigger screens at the drive-ins (my favorite was the silvery, art-moderne Skyway near Butler).

But this month’s column really isn’t about nostalgia, although I did spend some time viewing a few campy old drive-in concession-stand promos on YouTube for inspiration. (Hey, it’s pop culture.) What I’m leading into here is news about some summer movies, or rather in more lofty terms, film. And there’s a film festival as well.

Premiering this month in air-conditioned comfort at Carnegie Museum of Art’s Forum Gallery is “Forum 65: Jones, Koester, Nashashibit/Skaer: Reanimation.” This new show, viewed in a darkened gallery space, comprises two films and a digital projection.

The show marks the CMA curatorial debut of Dan Byers, the museum’s associate curator of contemporary art, who came to town in May 2009. For “Forum 65,” Byers has brought together four artists also making their CMA debuts: William E. Jones, an American whose work has been on show at the Andy Warhol Museum; Joachim Koester, born in Denmark and living in America; and collaborating British artists Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer.

What you’ll experience, as described by CMA, will be “subtly choreographed movements to expose and alter cultural, perceptual and historical circumstances.

Activated by the basic yet infinitely mutable ability of film and video to allow action to unfold over time, each work creates a complex interplay between stillness and movement, agitation and contemplation, and darkness and light.”

Jones’ Punctuated (2010) is of special interest because there’s a local connection. For this piece, Jones sequences 100 photographs shot during the Great Depression for the Farm Security Administration, which commissioned some 100,000 images of American life during that time. The project director was Roy Stryker, who later became director of the Pittsburgh Photographic Library, now housed at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, which documented the city in the 1950s. Punctuated derives it edge by showing “killed images,” black-and-white rejects marked with black punch holes.

The pace picks up with Koester’s Tarantism (2007). This black-and-white film takes its inspiration from the legendary Italian dance associated with the convulsive condition resulting from the bite of the poisonous spider known as the tarantula.

How about a film about a museum within a museum? In Flash in the Metropolitan (2006), Nashashibi and Skaer use color to explore darkened galleries and artifacts at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art “with rhythmic flashes of illumination.” One goal of the film is to spark questions about “the permanence of memory and culture.”

“Forum 65” kicks off with an opening reception on Thurs., July 1, beginning at 6:30 p.m.; it continues through Oct. 3. At the opening, Jones and Skaer will discuss their work before a screening of additional films by the four artists in “Forum 65.”

In conjunction with “Forum 65,” there will be a related event this month: the Two-Minute-Film Festival, on Thurs., July 15. (When I first heard about this event, I wondered if attention spans had grown shorter than ever. However, what the festival features is a selection of two-minute films, so plan on staying a while.)

The festival is the culmination of CMA-generated competition asking entrants to respond to the question “A Brief History of…”. A wide variety of media could be tapped—from cameras to cell phones. Entries were still being received as of press time. (4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Tues.-Wed., Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Adults, $15; seniors, $12; students, children 3-18, $11; under 3 and members, free. Info: 412/622-3131, cmoa.org)

ARTRAGEOUS: JULY 23-SEPT. 19
The main event of the year-long celebration of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh’s 100th anniversary premieres this month at Carnegie Museum of Art with “ARTrageous,” the AAP’s annual exhibition. The 2010 show, which presents work by artists within 150 miles of Pittsburgh, is juried by Donald Miller, an art critic and formerly the art critic of the Post-Gazette, and Al Miner, an artist and curatorial assistant at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

A public reception kicks off “ARTrageous” on Fri., July 23, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the museum. (Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. July 23-Sept. 19: Tues.-Wed., Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Adults, $15; seniors, $12; students, children 3-18, $11; under 3 and members, free. Info: 412/622-3131, cmoa.org)

FORT PITT MUSEUM REOPENING
Summer also is a time for taking vacations and visiting historic sites and museums, and with Independence Day, July is an especially appropriate month. Here’s one suggestion: Check out the newly reopened Fort Pitt Museum—located in Point State Park, the geographical cradle of history in western Pennsylvania.

“The addition of the Fort Pitt Museum adds to the History Center’s museum system and helps to further reinforce our mission of present American history with a western Pennsylvania connection,” says Andy Masich, the History Center’s president and CEO.

Opened in 1969 in a reconstructed bastion of Fort Pitt, the Fort Pitt Museum sprouted a second story in recent years, creating a 12,000-square-foot space that tells the story of not only Fort Pitt and early Pittsburgh, but also documents the region’s role in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Visitors to the reopened museum will find a combination of old, new and revamped displays and artifacts.

A personal favorite of mine remains the wonderfully detailed scale model of Fort Pitt and its environs, still front and center in the entrance hall. At the back of the hall is a recent addition: a striking life-size and life-like sculpture of King Beaver, known as Tamaqua, which was created by Alan Gutchess, the museum’s new site director. Tamaqua was a Delaware Indian diplomat who proposed the forks of the Ohio as an excellent location where the British could build a fort.

And the rest, they say, is history. (Point State Park, downtown. Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Adults, $10; seniors, $9; students and children 4-17, $5; children 3 and under, members, free. Info: 412/281-9285, heinzhistorycenter.org)

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and head outdoors for 10 great walks for spring.
412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

Local nonprofit organization 412 Food Rescue is taking food that otherwise would be tossed aside and connecting it with those in need through-of-the-moment technology.
Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Fashion is white haute this spring with the best looks from local stores.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Affordable Housing Part of Civic Arena Site Redevelopment

Affordable Housing Part of Civic Arena Site Redevelopment

The Pittsburgh Penguins and a St. Louis Developer hope to eventually build 1,000 residential units near PPG Paints Arena.
Watch: Phil Kessel has a Mini-Me – And He's Too Cute

Watch: Phil Kessel has a Mini-Me – And He's Too Cute

Have the Pens have found their new meme for the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Pittsburgh Will Be Home to 22 NCAA Championship Events

Pittsburgh Will Be Home to 22 NCAA Championship Events

The ’Burgh scored more events than any other U.S. city.
Beginner’s Guide to Pittsburgh Craft Brew Week

Beginner’s Guide to Pittsburgh Craft Brew Week

A guide to PCBW for local-brewery newbies.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and head outdoors for 10 great walks for spring.
412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

Local nonprofit organization 412 Food Rescue is taking food that otherwise would be tossed aside and connecting it with those in need through-of-the-moment technology.
Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Fashion is white haute this spring with the best looks from local stores.
Restaurant Review: Pork & Beans

Restaurant Review: Pork & Beans

The latest restaurant from the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group brings Texas-style smoked meats and more to Downtown.
Daytripping: Brave the Cave

Daytripping: Brave the Cave

Go subterranean at Laurel Caverns, the largest cave in Pennsylvania.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Affordable Housing Part of Civic Arena Site Redevelopment

Affordable Housing Part of Civic Arena Site Redevelopment

The Pittsburgh Penguins and a St. Louis Developer hope to eventually build 1,000 residential units near PPG Paints Arena.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Scratch Food & Beverage Has a New Executive Chef

Brandon Blumenfeld introduces an American gastropub menu at the Troy Hill bar.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Dive Bar & Grille Expands to South Side, Remains Charming

Dive Bar & Grille Expands to South Side, Remains Charming

The latest outpost of the small, Wexford-born chain isn't flashy, but offers good beer and grub.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
A Life Well Lived: Dan Rooney's Humility and Humanity

A Life Well Lived: Dan Rooney's Humility and Humanity

Delivering the Homily at Rooney's funeral, Cardinal Donald Wuerl acknowledged a longstanding Rooney philosophical belief: “You can get anything done if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Pittsburgh on a Plate

Pittsburgh on a Plate

The way to a beer lover’s heart is mapped out on notNeutral’s plate, which highlights Pittsburgh breweries (and other points of interest) across the city.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Refreshing Action Flick and a Redundant Thriller

A Refreshing Action Flick and a Redundant Thriller

Reviews of "Free Fire," "Unforgettable" and "The Promise," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Planning Proposals: The Element of Surprise

Planning Proposals: The Element of Surprise

This couple’s proposal story really takes the cake.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
PPG Paints Unveils New Store Concept at Bakery Square

PPG Paints Unveils New Store Concept at Bakery Square

The revamped retail store in East Liberty, the first of its kind for PPG in the country, was created with DIYers, architects and interior designers in mind.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

A-Rod to Talk Baseball and Steroids at Slippery Rock

Considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Alex Rodriguez also is one of the league's more controversial stars.

Comments