Tony Conrad was a pioneering artist, composer, musician, performer and filmmaker whose open, innovative and interdisciplinary approach to media helped to define, expand and challenge artistic traditions in each field in which he worked. In 2008 Conrad conceived a monumental performance for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall entitled Unprojectable: Projection and Perspective which brought together the artist’s exploration of projection and duration in an amplified string performance. The conversation between sound, moving image and performance underpinning Conrad’s practice in many ways embodies a new direction Tate is keen to explore in its collecting, exhibiting and display strategies. It is thus an honour to host this special evening paying tribute to the late artist’s 50-year legacy of artistic experimentation.
The evening begins with the UK premiere of Tyler Hubby’s feature documentary debut, a candid and insightful glimpse into Conrad’s world. Composed of recordings the filmmaker has been compiling since the two first met in 1994, the film follows the influential artist’s strange and uncompromising fifty-year path through experimental film, music, video, public television and education as well as his unlikely resurgence as a noteworthy composer and performer.
Hubby will be in conversation with Andrea Lissoni after the film, followed by two live performances featuring David Grubbs, musician and composer, Paige Sarlin, media scholar and Conrad’s widow, and Jennifer Walshe, vocalist, composer and artist.
Tyler Hubby, Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present, USA 2016, digital, colour, sound, 98 min
After the screening, Tyler Hubby will be in conversation with Andrea Lissoni, Senior Curator, International Art Film.
Tony Conrad’s Amplified Drone Strings with David Grubbs (bowed guitar), Paige Sarlin (cello), and Jennifer Walshe (violin), 19 min
David Grubbs, How to Hear What’s Less than Meets the Ear, 10 min
Tyler Hubby (b. 1969, USA) is a filmmaker, photographer and film editor based in Los Angeles. He studied film and photography at the San Francisco Art Institute where he had the privilege of studying with influential underground filmmaker George Kuchar. His subversive and irreverent short films and videos explore fetishism, co-dependency and bodily mutations and are featured in the book Cinema Contra Cinema by British author Jack Sargeant. Since 1994, Hubby has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the avant/experimental record label Table of the Elements, documenting artists such as Faust, Keiji Haino, John Fahey, Jim O’Rourke, Rhys Chatham, Arnold Dreyblatt, Zeena Parkins, Jonathan Kane and Tony Conrad. He has also edited over 30 documentary films, most notable among them The Devil and Daniel Johnston and Johan Grimonprez’s Double Take, which forms part of the Tate Collection.
This programme is supported by The Red Carnation Hotel Collection and The Wire and LUMA Foundation.