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Uklanski & Figura on their "Polish Western"

November 09, 2007

Join artist PIOTR UKLANSKI, actress KATARZYNA FIGURA, curator CHRISSIE ILES, and film critic JIM HOBERMAN as they contextualize Uklanski's Summer Love within the classic American film genre of the Western

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2007, 7:00 PM
(Film and Video Gallery, Floor 2)
945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street
New York, NY 10021

Admission: $8; senior citizens and students $6;  members: free. Advance sales are strongly  recommended as space is limited. Tickets may be purchased by clicking here or by visiting the Museum Admission  Desk. Inquiries: public_programs@whitney.org  or (212) 570-7715.

Summer Love (2006), the first feature film  by conceptual artist Piotr Uklanski, appropriates one of American popular cinema's most classic genres –  the Western – to create an allegorical movie. Shot in southern Poland  with a mainlyPolish cast (but with dialogue in English), the film's stock  characters are instantly recognizable to viewers for whom the myth of the  American West is ingrained by the Westerns of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Yet Uklanski's  film is "a copy of a copy", referring to the European spaghetti  Western as much as to the American 'original'. As Uklanski explains, his  film exploits cinema's most codified genre to address issues of cultural  authenticity. With its impressive cinematography and strong performances,  including an intentionally gimmicky appearance by Hollywood star Val Kilmer, Summer Love functions not only as a conceptual statement, but also as a genuine  Western, adding to the grand tradition of the genre.

Summer Love, Poland, 2006 (35mm, 93 min, in English, color,  sound) is screened on: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11:30 am and 2:45  pm; Fridays at 1:30 pm, 3:45  pm, and 6:30 pm.


...the first deconstructed art western – Manohla Dargis,  The New York Times (read the full review)

...a mock spaghetti western that  manages to be both parody and homage, albeit less western than spaghetti.  Or rather "kielbasa" […] Beginning with its vertiginous opening  shoot-out, Summer Love is characterized by some credibly mad filmmaking.–  Jim Hoberman, Village Voice

Director of photography Jacek Petrycki (who has worked with  Agnieszka Holland and Krzysztof Kieslowski), editor Mike Horton ("The  Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers") (…) make everything look and sound authentic. – Ray Bennett, The Hollywood Reporter

Piotr Uklanski (b. 1968 in Warsaw, Poland), is an accomplished  conceptual artist who has exhibited his work in numerous museums throughout  the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Centre Pompidou  in Paris, as well as at the Sao Paolo Biennale and Venice Biennale. He  lives and works in New York and in Warsaw. In his photographic works, collages, sculptures, installations, video, and performances, Uklanski uses stereotypical motifs  and strategies from pop culture, art, and cinema to address issues of  cultural identity and authenticity.

Katarzyna Figura, irrefutably a top star of stage and screen in Poland, was dubbed  the Polish Marilyn Monroe following her breakthrough role in Train to Hollywood by Radoslaw Piwowarski in 1987. She appeared  in Roman Polanski’s Oscar-winning World War II film, The Pianist, Robert Altman’s Pret-a-Porter, as well as Ruggero Deodato’s  Italian slasher film, The Washing  Machine. Her Polish filmography includes Ryszard Brylski’s White Soup, Andrzej Wajda’s Revenge, and Piotr Szulkin’s Ga-ga: Glory to the Heroes.

Presented by
Whitney Museum of American Art
and the Polish Cultural Institute

A discussion on the occasion of Piotr Uklanski’s Summer Love
(on view at the Whitney, October 17 - December 9, 2007, Film & Video Gallery, Floor  2)