The Wexner Center announced its 2009–’10 Residency Award recipients: Mark Bradford in visual arts, Reid Farrington in performing arts, and Lewis Klahr in media arts.

“Our Residency Award program underscores the very essence of the Wexner Center’s role as a creative laboratory and research center for all the arts,” says Wexner Center Director Sherri Geldin. “It’s not only interdisciplinary in nature—allowing artists to migrate among artistic disciplines that aren’t necessarily their primary métier—but we often engage artists at pivotal moments in their careers, allowing them the freedom and the resources to explore new directions.”

Los Angeles-based multimedia artist Mark Bradford—named a MacArthur Foundation “genius” in 2009—will be developing new work for the survey exhibition Mark Bradford: You’re Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You), which will be on view at the Wexner Center May 8–August 15, 2010 before touring the country. Best known for his dazzling works on canvas that examine the class-, race-, and gender-based economies that structure urban society in the U.S., Bradford is producing a number of projects under the residency auspices: a major new sculpture entitled Lazarus, comprised of more than 1,000 collaged basketballs; an ambitious suite of new paintings; Pinocchio, a sound-based sculptural environment that explores the social experiences of a young black man growing up in L.A. in the early 1980s; and the film Mithra, which documents and reflects on the production and afterlife of his monumental public sculpture installed in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans for the 2008 biennial exhibition Prospect.1. Bradford will work with Ohio State BFA and MFA students during his time here.

Acclaimed theater director and video designer Reid Farrington looks to Alfred Hitchcock’s film Rope and its original inspiration (the one-act play Rope’s End by Patrick Hamilton) for his work Gin & “It.”Co-produced by the Wexner Center, Gin & “It”—which will have its world premiere at the Wexner Center March 4-7, 2010—melds video and live action, and echoes the technical feats of the Hitchcock film. Loosely based on the sensational Leopold and Loeb murder case, that film dealt with a thrill killing by a pair of privileged young men, and skirted the issue of the protagonists’ homosexual relationship to satisfy the limitations imposed on Hollywood by the Production Code of that era (the director only referred to this aspect of their material as “it”). In Gin & “It,” passages of witty repartee from the film and text drawn from the original play come together in revealing contrasts, bringing this once-taboo subtext out of the closet. Farrington, formerly video designer for The Wooster Group, will work with students in the theater and film studies departments as well as student advocates for GLBT issues at Ohio State. Reid Farrington’s Gin & “It” is coproduced by the Wexner Center for the Arts, Performance Space 122, and 3LD Art & Technology Center. For full production credits, click here.

L.A.-based collage animator Lewis Klahr uses images from advertising, comic books, and other ephemeral talismans of American commerce and popular culture to investigate our national dreamscape. With his Residency Award, Klahr has completed Wednesday Morning Two A.M., a tale of lost love set to music by The Shangri-Las that had its world premiere at the 2009 New York Film Festival. Klahr’s residency has also supported the creation of three new animated melodramasLethe, Nimbus Smile, and Nimbus Seeds—that inaugurate a major new series of films titled Prolix Satori. In May 2010, the Wexner Center will present a monthlong retrospective of Klahr’s work—celebrated pieces and rarely seen treasures—paired with some of the feature films that have influenced and inspired him. Klahr will kick off the series with an onstage discussion May 1. While in town, he will also work for a week in the center’s Art & Technology video editing suites, and will teach a master class at OSU.

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