For Ulrich exhibiting artist Jenny Perlin and local film fans, it's all about the movies

9:03:32 AM CDT - Thursday, November 03, 2005

By Shannon Littlejohn

Fresh from the Tallgrass Film Festival and the hopeful news that Wichita's 20th Century Club plans to add art films, selected shorts and attempt to lure the Black Maria film extravaganza back to town, Wichita film fans can look forward to the next artist on exhibition at the Ulrich Museum of Art, Jenny Perlin.

Not only will she be on hand for opening day of her gallery exhibit, Nov. 10-Dec. 23, Perlin will be at the Nov. 9 screening of three of her films at the Louise C. Murdock Theatre in the 20th Century Club building in downtown Wichita.

Film screenings are nothing new to the Brooklyn-based artist, who teaches film and video at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City. Her work has been shown in countless film festivals, including the Black Maria, popular to local film fans from its now-suspended tenure at the Wichita Center for the Arts.

The Ulrich show, however, will be the first major solo museum exhibition for Perlin, who uses 16mm film, video and drawing in her artwork. The Ulrich exhibition will include her multi-channel video installation "Sight Reading," about three pianists who are performing a difficult piece of music for the first time, and her 16mm film loop "Washing," a look at the skyline of Lower Manhattan after Sept. 11, 2001, and an attempt to cleanse both landscape and memory.

The movie-theater screening offers a deeper glimpse of the artist's film-making career. Perlin will introduce the films with brief remarks about each and, after their 52-minute run time, hold a question and answer session. The films follow, as described on the Ulrich's Web site.

"Happy are the Happy (Your Best Joke, Please!)," 16mm, 18 minutes, 1999 (co-directed with Sarah Jane Lapp), "traces a journey into humor, guided by the survivors of not-so-funny lives. Of its participants and its viewers, this experimental, non-fiction film asks relating to the matrix of memory, survival and comic impulse of everyday life in Prague and beyond."

"Perseverance & How to Develop It," 16mm, 14 minutes, 2003, "takes the viewer on a journey through obsession, the drive for success, 1915 self-help tricks and strikes at the Ford Motor Co. The film explores how the growth of industry in the 20th century relied on self-help to instill a drive for success in young workers."

"View from Elsewhere," 16mm/digital video, 22 minutes, 2002. "Migration, intolerance and violence have been seen as inevitable consequences of global culture. 'View from Elsewhere' reminds us that border closings, forced deportations, and travel restrictions have real, tangible effects on peoples' lives."

For more information about Perlin, call the Ulrich Museum at 978-3664, e-mail ulrich@wichita.eduor visit www.ulrich.wichita.edu.

The Jenny Perlin film screening is at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in the Louise C. Murdock Theatre at the 20th Century Club, 536 N. Broadway. Free for students and WSU faculty (with ID); $3 general public.

The opening of "Possible Models: New Work by Jenny Perlin" is Thursday, Nov. 10, with an illustrated talk by the artist at 4 p.m. in 210 McKnight Art Center West; 5 to 7 p.m. opening reception at the Ulrich Museum with remarks by the artist at 6 p.m. The events are free and open to the public.

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