CRACKING THE FRAME – KUSAMA – INFINITY

A genuinely felt portrait of the artist as a dedicated survivor, ever in service to her vision of the world and fighting for her place in it. – LA Times

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KUSAMA – INFINITY
Heather Lenz
USA – 2018 – 76 min

Kusama – Infinity explores artist Yayoi Kusama’s journey from a conservative upbringing in Japan to her brush with fame in America during the 1960s (where she rivaled Andy Warhol for press attention) and concludes with the international fame she has finally achieved within the art world. Now in her 80s, Kusama has spent the last 30 years living in a mental institution in Japan.

Kusama – Infinity explores Kusama’s fierce determination to become a world-renowned artist. Kusama was born into a conservative family in rural Japan and she made her way to America on the heels of WWII. There, without connections and speaking only broken English, she devoted herself to her one true love, making art.

On her first day in New York, Kusama has stated that she climbed to the top of the Empire State Building, looked down upon the city below, and made a decision to stand out from everyone she saw below and become a star. She has received the Praemium Imperiale Laureate for lifetime achievement in painting, and was named the world’s ‘most popular artist’ and one of the ‘most expensive living female artist’ in 2014.

A sharp portrait of the trailblazing Japanese pop artist Yayoi Kusama – Little White Lies

Infinity is an essential watch in order to understand why Yayoi Kusama’s art matters, and how the person behind the dots is inspirational beyond the finite reach of our own individual universes. – Culture Whisperer

Cracking the Frame
Established in 2011, Cracking the Frame is a monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed documentary portraits of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.
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CRACKING THE FRAME – EVERYBODY KNOWS… ELIZABETH MURRAY

The seventh season of Cracking the Frame opens this evening at cinema Rialto in Amsterdam and this year we open with an exclusive European Premiere, presented in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum and introduced by their curator Karen Archey.

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EVERYBODY KNOWS… ELIZABETH MURRAY
Kristi Zea | USA | 2016 | 60 min

EVERYBODY KNOWS… ELIZABETH MURRAY is an intimate portrait of the groundbreaking feminist artist Elizabeth Murray.
The film explores the relationship between Murray’s family life and career, and reconsiders her place in contemporary art history. As her paintings defied efforts at categorization, Murray herself broke convention, leaving an indelible imprint on contemporary art and becoming the fifth woman to be celebrated with a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, in 2005.

EKEM chronicles Murray’s remarkable journey with a mix of interviews with artists, curators and friends, private home videos and excerpts from her journals, voiced by Meryl Streep, tracing Murray’s life, from years as a struggling single mother to having a growing family and thriving career. From her early 1960’s “funk-inflected pop” and her painterly minimalism in the 70’s, to her dynamic fractured canvases of the 1990s and 2000s, Murray worked without hesitation through – and often in spite of – market trends, historical movements and her failing health, until she lost her life to cancer in 2007.

“The movie shows the great variety of Murray’s always vivid, colorful work, and culminates with a triumph not just for Murray but also, as the film takes pains to point out, for women in American art” – The New York Times

This special screening will be introduced by Stedelijk Museum’s curator Karen Archey.
Karen Archey is Curator of Contemporary Art, Time-based Media at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Prior to joining Stedelijk, she worked as an art critic, independent curator and editor of e-flux conversations in Berlin and New York.

As always, follow-up screenings will take place in selected Dutch and Belgian cinemas next month. 

Cracking the Frame

Established in 2011, Cracking the Frame is a monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed documentary portraits of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.

CRACKING THE FRAME – FEELINGS ARE FACTS: THE LIFE OF YVONNE RAINER

“The function of art is to shake us out of our complacency and comfort” – Yvonne Rainer

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Wednesday 16 March, 19:30h at Rialto Amsterdam
FEELINGS ARE FACTS: THE LIFE OF YVONNE RAINER
Jack Walsh | US | 2015 | 86 min

In the early 1960s, Yvonne Rainer and a group of maverick dancers influenced by choreographer Merce Cunningham and musician John Cage founded the Judson Dance Theater. The group revolutionized dance by introducing everyday movements like walking and running, performing in street clothes and screaming and yelling into the dance lexicon.
Not content in dance alone Rainer turned her attention to filmmaking in the early ‘70s, applying to the new medium the same revolutionary impetus that was to be found in her body work and creating a number of ground-breaking experimental films confronting issues of political power, women’s objectification, lesbian sexuality or her own struggle with breast cancer.
Rainer’s boundary-crossing art has been labeled in many ways: feminist, conceptual, post-modern, political. Today, at 80, Rainer continues performing, creating vibrant, courageous, unpredictable dances that mix artistic disciplines.
Making abundant use of film excerpts, archive footage and reinterpretations of Rainer’s choreographies, director Jack Walsh tells the riveting story of one of America’s most important choreographers and experimental filmmakers. FEELINGS ARE FACTS examines the contradictions and creativity of this remarkable provocateur and raises the question: what does it mean to be an avant-garde artist today?

“A compelling portrait of a truly original artist, as vital as ever in her senior years.” – The San Francisco Chronicle
“With DIY performances having become ubiquitous in popular culture, this documentary serves as essential viewing for not only dance aficionados, but for those seeking an illuminating example of how postmodern artists were instrumental in “opening up the palace gates of high art”. – The Straight
“An artist long comfortable with the written and spoken word, Rainer comes across here as a flinty, inspiring and indefatigably questing practitioner, keen to explore her chosen fields to their maximum potential.” – The Hollywood Reporter
“An absorbing documentary that’s filled with Rainer’s reflections on her life and art.” – Star Journal

Cracking the Frame

A monthly program featuring an international selection of theatrically unreleased, critically acclaimed arts documentaries.
Cracking the Frame focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through thought-provoking cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, photographers, filmmakers and global thinkers.