The Beat Goes On

The late Stan Brakhage — a Colorado native and longtime Boulder fixture who’s recognized as a father of experimental filmmaking — spawned generations of visual rule-breakers. Although his work alone could easily fill a one-man retrospective, Brakhage is both a focus and a take-off point for the new Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition Visual Rhythm. “Stan Brakhage is really the anchor and the root for this exhibition as a pioneer in experimental film,” says curator Petra Sertic. “Even the term ‘Visual Rhythm’ refers to Brakhage’s whole approach to filmmaking, where he was not so much interested in narrative, but in visual impulses and the image that creates. But we developed an exhibition that also shows how he was influential, and how artists today still pursue the abstract film/video genre he pioneered.”

So Visual Rhythm segues from a continuous-loop screening of Brakhage’s 16mm Persian Series to Sterling Crispin’s holographic digital print to a reactive sound-and-light installation by David Fodel and Paco Proano. The museum itself got a black-box makeover by Mexico City native Ricardo Rendón, who covered the windows with drywall and then drilled designs into the covering. In all, there are works by eleven Colorado and international artists, but that represents just a fraction of the work that Brakhage inspired. “We can’t show everything,” Sertic admits. “But we can give a slice of what’s going on. The entire museum will be filled with nothing but moving shapes and colors.”

Visual Rhythm opens with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. today at BMoCA, 1750 13th Street in Boulder; the show continues until September 9 with a complement of related events, including next week’s MediaLive 2012 festival. For more information, go to or call 303-443-2122.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: July 5. Continues through Sept. 9, 2012

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd