A legendary figure within underground film, George Kuchar began his career in the late 1950s while a teenager in the Bronx, where he and his twin brother Mike started making wild 8mm burlesques of Hollywood productions (their titles—The Naked and the Nude, Lust for Ecstasy, I Was a Teenage Rumpot—are a window into their sensibility). Later, in the 1980s, he traded in film for Hi-8 video, a consumer-grade format whose formal possibilities he explored through numerous video diaries. Though crafted in the exaggerated, soap-operatic spirit of his earlier work, Kuchar’s lo-fi autobiographies engage more directly with quotidian realities. Screening at the Biennial is Kuchar’s epic cycle of Weather Diaries, which document his annual visits to the shabby El Reno motel in tornado-alley Oklahoma. Horny, bored, and on the lookout for gathering storms, he reveals, in a radically unpretentious manner, the humor of everyday indignities and the pathos of unsated appetites.
George Kuchar’s work is being screened in the Museum’s second floor film & video gallery April 18 through 22.