Walker Art Center Renames Film/Video Department, Announces New Initiatives

James Richards’ Radio at Night, 2015. Moving Image Commission by the Walker Art Center. COURTESY WALKER ARTS CENTER

James Richards’ Radio at Night, 2015, commissioned by the Walker Art Center.


Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center has rechristened its Film/Video department as the Moving Image department. The change goes into effect next month, and is accompanies by two related initiatives—the Walker Moving Image Commissions, a series of six artist commissions that will debut online, and the Walker Mediatheque, a new 50-seat screening room in which visitors may view projected works from the Ruben/Benston Moving Image Collection.

Why the change? As Sheryl Mousley, the department’s senior curator, said in a statement, “The transition toward moving image away from the specific formats of film and video represents the movement of artists and filmmakers to work across a variety of mediums. Walker Moving Image is responsive to these developments, and to presenting works across different platforms, in the context of our cinema, in our galleries, and online.”

The Walker Moving Image Commissions—made with “an awareness to the inquiry, inspiration, and influence of Derek Jarman, Bruce Conner, and Marcel Broodthaers, three signature artists within the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection,” according to the museum’s new release—will begin with Jarman-inspired works by Moyra Davey and James Richards, premiering online June 1. Leslie Thornton and Seth Price will pay homage to Conner, launching later this year, and a third pair of Broodthaers-influenced works by Shahryar Nashat and Uri Aran will debut sometime in 2016.

As the Moving Image department continues to digitize their collection, the Walker Mediatheque—providing “unprecedented public access to [the museum’s] rich holdings of over 1,000 works amassed since 1973,” according to a press release—will offer works by artists like Kenneth Anger, Maya Deren, Joan Jonas, Jonas Mekas, and Yvonne Rainer.

“Under the continued leadership of Sheryl Mousley and her team, Walker Moving Image will continue to support and advance the most innovative artistic work across formats. Moving image practice and the ideas that surround it have shifted dramatically in recent years,” said Fionn Meade, the museum’s artistic director. “Presenting these newly commissioned works from leading artists alongside and in dialog with expanded access to Walker collections speaks to the shifting landscape of moving image and offers more opportunities for context.”

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