The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and David Roberts Art Foundation in London present exclusive online screenings of films in their collections by William and Bettye Nowlin Professor of Studio Art Teresa Hubbard and Associate Professor of Practice Alexander Birchler, Co-Area Heads Photography & Media at the Department of Art and Art History. The David Roberts Art Foundation presents Night Shift as part of its Broadcasts initiative and the Modern will present Grand Paris Texas as part of the museum’s new film and video series, Modern TV, which screens videos by leading contemporary artists on the Modern’s website while the museum remains temporarily closed.
At the Modern, Hubbard / Birchler’s Grand Paris Texas is a cinematic exploration of the physical and social space of an abandoned movie theater in Paris, Texas. The Grand theater serves as the main protagonist in a film that patiently observes life in Paris, a town made famous by Wim Wenders’s 1984 film Paris, Texas, which used the city’s name but was not actually filmed there. The film interweaves three storylines: a film crew recording the bird-infested interior of the Grand; interviews with Paris residents who reflect on the abandoned movie theater, on films in general, and on Wenders’s Paris, Texas in particular; and Hubbard / Birchler’s surprising discovery of a partially-erased videotape found at the local video store. Grand Paris Texas will be on view online at Modern TV June 13, 2020 from 7 – 10 pm CST; June 14, 2020 from 2 – 5 pm CST; and June 15, 2020 from 9 am – 12 pm CST.
At the David Roberts Art Foundation, Night Shift consists of four scenes in the same setting—a parked police car at night, with a younger police officer bringing an older police officer a cup of coffee—2 sugars, no cream. Using recurring and non-recurring characters, interrelated dialogue and ambient sound, the interstitial segments revolve around the space of sleep and sleeplessness. The nocturnal, perpetual cycle of exchanges suggest an encroaching world in which external signs might actually exist only in the older police officer’s imagination, as interior dialogues play out inside his restless mind. Night Shift was commissioned by Art 21 Inc. New York and premiered on PBS television in 2005.
Night Shift is held in numerous private and public collections including the David Roberts Art Foundation collection, London. In 2017, Night Shift was exhibited at Lora Reynolds Gallery. Austin-based Sightlines’ Jeanne Claire van Ryzin recently reviewed the film writing, “It’s a clever play on the way our minds churn over the same psychic material. Repeated real life moments, recurring dreams. Or perhaps it happens the other way around.”