My understanding of this situation with Conner and the "2000 B.C." exhibit(s) 
(which I saw at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco) is that Conner *insisted* 
that the film work be displayed in this way and was intimately involved in the 
design of all aspects of the exhibit. It was pretty common knowledge that 
Conner was extremely controlling of the way his work was exhibited and (I 
believe) he had actually nixed previous career retrospectives offered by 
museums when he felt the quality of display not up to his standards. I agree 
that this show really set the bar high for the gallery exhibition of film and I 
credit Bruce Conner, in his unique Bruce Conner-ness, for forcing it to happen. 
Could other artists do this? Do they have his juice, his mojo? It would be nice 
if they would try, to try and force the issue, but I get the sense that to many 
it's generally just enough to get in the door, you know?

Steve Polta

--- On Sun, 3/4/12, marilyn brakhage <> wrote:

From: marilyn brakhage <>
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] experimental film in the art world
To: "Experimental Film Discussion List" <>
Date: Sunday, March 4, 2012, 11:30 PM

I didn't see that exhibition, unfortunately.  But Bruce Conner also had a 
gallery/art world history and connections for his work in other media, aside 
from film.  It's the people who are "only" filmmakers who sometimes have more 
of a struggle with getting their work shown as it should be.
On 4-Mar-12, at 6:31 PM, Myron Ort wrote:
 all I know is how impressed I was with the Bruce Conner retrospective  in Los 
Angeles at MOCA  a many few years ago. All of his modes of working were well 
presented.Bruce Conner!
Myron Ort

On Mar 4, 2012, at 6:19 PM, marilyn brakhage wrote:
Thanks for the feedback.  It would be interesting to hear more on the subject 
from people around at the time -- as well as the latest experiences other 
people are having.
On 4-Mar-12, at 2:45 PM, Chuck Kleinhans wrote:
     I thought Marilyn Brakhage's response to the Erika Balsom essay was 
outstanding, and I hope it will be reprinted in Moving Image Arts Journal so it 
circulates more directly where historians and scholars might find it in the 
  Greybeards like me on the Frameworks listserv can easily add to the main 
points Marilyn makes about Stan Brakhage per se and about the commercial and 
gallery and museum art world of the time. 
  I vividly remember a dinner with Stan Brakhage (and others) at the University 
of Oregon perhaps 20 years ago when he was screening some of his films.  The 
discussion got into the matter of Turner's paintings and light, and Brakhage 
was quite passionate about which museums had which paintings and had displayed 
them to best advantage.  The next morning I ran into him on the main campus 
quadrangle, camera in hand, filming what interested him, while he was waiting 
for the University Art Museum to open. 
  Two points that others might be able to develop more in dialogue with 
Balsom's thesis: 
  a. animation, particularly drawn animation, has always had a more ambiguous 
relation to the traditional format/materials art world, perhaps mostly because 
almost all its artists have drawing skills and craft, which is more easily 
understood.  Most art schools (used to) have first year drawing course 
  b. there was a discussion c. 1970, and I think in Canyon Cinemanews, about 
establishing the "rare value" of film and its collectability, by making things 
such as unique editions of films (such as S8mm copies that collectors could buy 
and presumably view at home) or by making single unique films which would then 
be sold to collectors or museums.  Of course this was also part of an art world 
discussion/quandary at the time when another mass reproduceable 
art--photography--was entering the art market (and museum collections). 
  Chuck Kleinhans 
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