Opening of Exhibition 10 at the Houston Contemporary Art Museum

This tape contains footage from the opening of the Houston Contemporary Art Museum in 1972. Produced by Ant Farm, the piece is a half-hour scrapbook of the events taking place during the opening gala, including Ant Farm's creation of a time capsule. The videomakers speak with attendees and artists about their involvement in the event.

00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with a blue screen.

00:47Copy video clip URL Brief montage of footage from the event, including Curtis Schreier announcing “This is not art.” Ant Farm introduces the tape and explains what the viewer will see on the tape, noting that the raw footage was buried in their time capsule. Shot from March 16-19 of 1972, the piece is a video scrapbook containing footage from the opening of Exhibition 10 at the Houston Contemporary Art Museum.

02:15Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of an artist who speaks about some of the common themes found in art. He states that there is a dichotomy between an artist’s words and thinking and the forms which they create. The artist talks about a piece inspired by these themes.

03:20Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of a bird inside the event hall. Organizers and artists set up their pieces for the opening gala later that night. The videomakers speak with an artist about her featured pieces. “Well, all of my things are about life or about like what kind of energy is necessary to beware. Whether or not, you know, what kind of tensions I’m under… Like in New York, gravity seems to be the least of anything. I mean you stop at every goddamn street corner. You come out at certain times of the day in order to avoid danger. You know, you have a whole¬† life ritual. It’s like an unnatural kind of regimen that you have to obey in order to get by.”

04:40Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of an artist speaking to the videomakers about a piece he has been working on.

05:32Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of a man in a pool of water. This is followed by footage of a piece in the museum. The artist talks about the piece which involves two pieces of plywood spinning on a wall.

06:29Copy video clip URL Videomaker and photographer William Wegman talks about the piece he has included in the event. He talks about some of the techniques he employs when compiling video of dogs.

07:18Copy video clip URL Cut to an artist talks about a piece he has put together with moving film strips. This is followed by an artist from earlier in the tape talking about his work in more detail. He had put together an number of installations involving animals.

08:33Copy video clip URL Artists and attendees mingle with one another at the gala. The videomakers also speak with a chef about the food being served that night.

10:21Copy video clip URL One of the videomakers interviews architect Gunnar Birkerts about building the museum. He talks about the building’s concept in great detail. We see shots of the building as Birkerts speaks talks about his work.

12:15Copy video clip URL The camera pans to reveal a large group of attendees during the opening of the exhibit. A museum employee comments on the importance of having this exhibit in Houston and talks about a new museum wing planned for the future.

14:12Copy video clip URL Cut back to footage from the opening ceremony. A man comments on the importance of the museum. “This building is not a building of the future, nor is this museum. This museum is not dedicated to the ridiculous, the sublime, or the cooky, or the groovy. These are the ideas of our times. These are the reflections of our time. Often you will go in and you will be intrigued and wonder ‘is it art?’ I don’t think anyone can ever answer that. That’s like saying ‘is this religion?'”

15:46Copy video clip URL William Wegman’s wife approaches one of the videomakers and asks if he can move Ant Farm’s recording equipment because the attendees are viewing Ant Farm’s equipment as an art piece. Those viewing it attributed it to William Wegman, whose piece had been placed next to Ant Farm’s equipment. Curtis Schreier comments on the matter by announcing that Ant Farm’s equipment is not art. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is not art. This is not art!”

16:42Copy video clip URL A museum employee speaks with one of the videomakers about the situation and talks about his irritation in having to deal with the matter. The videomakers speak with a few attendees. We also see footage of the videomakers inside a car.

21:41Copy video clip URL A woman takes the videomakers into the kitchen at the museum. Servers dish out bowls of cold avocado soup as a representative talks about the menu for the night. The videomakers then make their way back out to the event.

25:09Copy video clip URL Two people talk about the construction of the art pieces for the gala. The man is an artist who is currently constructing a piece for the event.

26:45Copy video clip URL Hudson Marquez narrates over silent footage of him taking photographs of the museum for a woman named Carolyn. Marquez goes on to narrate another silent scene of a conversation between a woman named Marilyn and an artist at the museum.

28:04Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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