Denver artist Tracy Weil is a fun-loving guy, and his River North neighborhood gallery/studio/house, weilworks, is just the place to have fun. "It's my Barbie Dream House," Weil says without irony. Sure -- if Barbie's house was a quirky, neo-modern space with an exhibition tower and a see-through floor. But in spite of his overwhelming sense of whimsy, Weil takes art seriously -- especially when it comes to what he believes is missing from Denver's diverse gallery scene. After a recent trip to New York City, where video media shows are commonplace, he decided to put out a call for entries. The resulting show, curated by Weil and Denver artist David Zimmer, is digital.movement.04, which opens tonight at weilworks with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m.
Weil and Zimmer have gathered a multi-faceted group of twelve amateurs and professionals, many of whom are fine artists learning to incorporate video into their artistic gestalt. The show will be displayed throughout the gallery, including one work that will be projected through the skylight separating the public space from Weil's upstairs living quarters.
Viviane Le Courtois, well known in the area for her fascinating studies of decay, contributes Pair #79, a documentary about one in a long series of shoes she's created from string. Le Courtois then walks in the shoes, shooting video of them as they wear away. Zimmer, who is a sculptor, contributes a conceptual work of a levitating man, while + Gallery director Ivar Zeile shows a video record of a year's worth of his own gallery openings shot in low-speed mode. Animator Kurt Bauer weighs in with a "semi-animated" poem written by local musician Janet Feder. And Weil's piece transforms a painting into a moving picture.
The show continues at weilworks, 3611 Chestnut Place, on weekends through September 26. For more information, call 303-308-9345 or go to www.weilworks.com. -- Susan Froyd
Monster Chiller flicks invade Denver
Imagine a movie about evil dictators, replete with stringy hair and bulging eyes, taking over the country. No, it's not Michael Moore's latest indoctrination. Instead, it's Monster Chiller Horror Theater, presented by the Denver Art Museum at the Starz FilmCenter. Opening tonight with the 1954 classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the retro series will roll for seven weeks, unspooling a cache that includes The Thing From Another World, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Forbidden Planet, It Came From Outer Space (in 3-D) and a double feature of Fiend Without a Face and Little Shop of Horrors. "During the late '40s, there was a flying-saucer scare that helped contribute to this fear of evil beings from another world," says DAM film curator Thomas Delapa. "These films, although entertaining and somewhat campy, are also historic, in the sense that they reveal the anxieties of the decade. The series represents the cultural underside to America during the Eisenhower era."
The movies will be shown in their original 16- or 35-millimeter formats, complete with Technicolor slime trails and shmaltzy special effects.
Monster Chiller Horror Theater runs Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. through October 26 at Starz, in the Tivoli building on the Auraria campus. Series tickets are $40 to $45, with discounts for DAM and Denver Film Society members, seniors and students; single tickets are available at the door. For more information, call 720-913-0105 or visit www.starzfilmcenter.com. -- Kity Ironton
I Dream of Video
"With all of the bad things happening today, I just wanted to put on something positive," says Flippin Entertainment founder Dennis Flippin. A filmmaker by trade who has directed and edited commercials for Nike, Flippin decided to organize an event that promotes visual artists around town. "I wanted to showcase their experimental work," he says. "Not just their highlight reels, but the stuff that wouldn't be shown anywhere else." The result is Dreams -- Art in Motion, an eclectic free show focusing on the work of local artists in a relaxed social environment. Dreams runs tonight from 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Forest Room, 2532 15th Street; a back display area will screen artists' dream-like videos on televisions, while the main room will feature a variety of images synchronized to beats spun by DJs Thunder, Symmetry and Green. Spoken-word artists will also perform.
Flippin hopes that Dreams will jump-start a series of similar events that he collectively refers to as the Red Dot Network. "It's an opportunity to look at the artistry of moving video as you would a painting at a gallery," he says. "But it's also a fun time and a chance to meet some really interesting people."
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For more information, call 720-308-3467. -- Adam Cayton-Holland
About Lost Night
"The whole world's wild at heart and weird on top," Lula purred to the snakeskin-sportin' Sailor Ripley in the film Wild at Heart. That 1990 classic carved another notch in director David Lynch's marker in the crypt of cult films. Mulholland Drive, Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Dune, Blue Velvet and television's Twin Peaks are some of the other hits and critical misses that Lynch has unleashed in the past three decades -- each a distorted and absurd fairy tale. This evening's Lost Night is a twisted tribute to the director by local Lynchians at the eerie ax-handle-laden Mario's Double Daughter's Salotto, 1632 Market Street. "Double Daughter's has that magic to it as it is," says the Double D's Kevin Delk. "You could not find a more surreal environment to hold something like this in."
DJs Idiom and Just Ginger will provide a menacing mixture of Lynch sounds while An-ism projects an amalgam of the director's works on the walls, and bizarrely bundled patrons can enter the evening's costume contest. Lost Night rattles its chains beginning at 9 p.m.; admission is free. Call 303-623-3505 or visit www.doubledaughters.com for details. -- Kity Ironton