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Making Movies at the Museum

OCT 19, 2012

Youth Insights Writers find inspiration for their film scripts in the artwork of Richard Artschwager, November 2012. Photograph by Kelman Duran

Youth Insights Writers find inspiration for their film scripts in the artwork of Richard Artschwager, November 2012. Photograph by Kelman Duran

This week in YI Writers we worked on a film project given to us by our artist-in-residence Cameron Crawford. For the project, each student will script and then film our own art-related video—the only concrete rule being that the video cannot include live actors. Instead, we can either use the artworks at the Museum as characters or have the video describe our ideal museum. These options can both be very loosely and creatively interpreted and incorporated into whatever kind of film we are really interested in making.

To prepare for writing film scripts, we did an exercise where Crawford showed images of two artworks on the screen in the Whitney Studio and we went around the room, each contributing lines for a dialogue between the two pieces. At first, the range of art spanned disparate time periods—contemporary works by Cindy Sherman and works from the seventeenth century by Diego Velasquez. These two characters had some snappy words to say to each other, resulting in a very reality-TV worthy dialogue. In our second attempt we used work by two artists, Richard Artschwager and Wade Guyton, each of whom currently has a solo exhibition at the Whitney (Richard Artschwager! and Wade Guyton: OS). From these, we created a heart-warming boy-meets-girl teen rom-com using Guyton’s printed X’s in Untitled, (2010) as the bad boy and Artschwager’s furry yellow Exclamation Point, (2008) as the bubbly valedictorian girl.

Wade Guyton (b. 1972), Untitled, 2010. Epson UltraChrome inkjet on linen; 84 × 69 in. (213.4 × 175.3 cm). Collection of the artist. © Wade Guyton. Photograph by Lamay Photo
Wade Guyton (b. 1972), Untitled, 2010. Epson UltraChrome inkjet on linen; 84 × 69 in. (213.4 × 175.3 cm). Collection of the artist. © Wade Guyton. Photograph by Lamay Photo
Richard Artschwager (b. 1923), Exclamation Point (Chartreuse), 2008. Plastic bristles on a mahogany core painted with latex, 65 × 22 × 22 in. (165.1 × 55.9 × 55.9 cm). Gagosian Gallery, New York. © Richard Artschwager. Photograph by Robert McKeever
Richard Artschwager (b. 1923), Exclamation Point (Chartreuse), 2008. Plastic bristles on a mahogany core painted with latex, 65 × 22 × 22 in. (165.1 × 55.9 × 55.9 cm). Gagosian Gallery, New York. © Richard Artschwager. Photograph by Robert McKeever

We then went over our create-your-own-museum options. Crawford explained that the video could focus on anything from the specific objects in the Museum to the concept surrounding it. The art inside didn’t even have to be art—it could be whatever we thought was worth putting on display. After this explanation we brainstormed ideas for possible museum concepts. We finished the session with everyone fleshing out their own ideas for their scripts. After this class I am excited to develop and film my video.

By Teddy, Youth Insights Writer