John WATERS’ film makes museum debut at the bma
The 72-minute video will be on shown on continuous loop in the Black Box Gallery
The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) presents Black Box: John Waters’ Kiddie Flamingos, on view September 21, 2016 through January 22, 2017. For the 2014 video, Waters filmed children reading a G-rated version of the cult classic, Pink Flamingos, and has said this new version is in some ways more perverse than the original. The presentation of the film is organized by Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman and presented in the Black Box Gallery in the museum’s contemporary wing.
Waters’ notorious Pink Flamingos—promoted as an “exercise in bad taste”—premiered in 1972 at the third annual Baltimore Film Festival. The film follows an outrageous competition for the title of “Filthiest People Alive,” which unfolds in a trailer in Phoenix, MD and at other sites throughout Baltimore City. Today, Pink Flamingos is internationally celebrated as a pioneering example of underground filmmaking.
“Wearing disheveled wigs, the Baltimore-based amateur cast of Kiddie Flamingos vividly evokes the performances of Divine, Mink Stole, Edith Massey, and the other unforgettably eccentric actors of Waters’ earlier film,” said Kristen Hileman, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. “At the same time, the children display their own sincerity and delight as they make their way through a deeply unconventional narrative.”
Waters’ distinctive voice delivers stage directions off camera while the children earnestly perform their roles. Those who have seen the original film will recognize that, though purged of its obscenity, the new script artfully alludes to the indelible scenes that make Pink Flamingos scandalous to this day. In fall 2018, Kiddie Flamingos will be featured again at the BMA as part of a major retrospective of Waters’ visual arts career organized by the museum.
THE BIRTH OF FEMINISM
Inspired by the exhibition, BMA hosts Election Night Party on Tuesday, November 8
The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) presents Front Room: Guerrilla Girls, a selection of 48 works by the New York-based anonymous feminist collective known for using humor to confront sexism and racism in the art world. The works are drawn from their Portfolio Compleat—a compilation of nearly 90 projects undertaken by the group between 1985 and 2012 that was acquired by the BMA in 2015. The exhibition is on view September 25, 2016 through March 12, 2017 in the Front Room Gallery of the museum’s contemporary wing.
Curated by Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman, Front Room: Guerrilla Girls underscores the New York-based group’s edgy, energetic, and unconventional 30-plus year crusade to call attention to the ways in which museums, private collectors, publications, and the art market have historically marginalized women artists and artists of color. Using a combination of audacious graphics, telling statistics, and provocative humor, their pronouncements are funny, stark, and highly critical of some of their field’s most powerful institutions and individuals, making anonymity a necessary protection for the independent careers members pursue under their own names.
Examples of works featured in the exhibition are Do Women Have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? (1989 and 2012 update), There’s a tragedy on Broadway and it isn’t Electra (1999), and Museums cave in to radical feminists! (2008).
Inspired by the exhibition, the BMA will host an Election Night Party on Tuesday, November 8, 7-10 p.m. Gather at the BMA to make political posters and masks; join in-gallery conversations on the intersection of art and politics; and stay up-to-date on the election returns. The evening will also include light refreshments and cash bar from Alma Cocina Latina and a DJ.
TICKETS: $10 or $5 for BMA Members and students with valid I.D. Purchase tickets at the BMA Box Office in the East Lobby or www.artbma.org.
The event is co-sponsored by Center Stage and the League of Women Voters of Baltimore City. In keeping with the spirit of the Guerrilla Girls, the exhibition has received generous support from 14 women and one woman-owned business in Baltimore: Virginia K. Adams, Sherry Christhilf, Suzanne F. Cohen, Nancy Dorman, Nupur Parekh Flynn, Sandra Levi Gerstung, Joanne Gold, Nancy Hackerman, Patricia Joseph, Madeline E. Lacovara, Jennifer O’Hara Martin, Amy Frenkil Meadows, Rachel Rabinowitz, Clair Zamoiski Segal, and Alpha Graphics.