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Des Moines Art Center to screen documentary How to Steal a Chair and land art film Through the Repellent Fence

11/9/2018

Des Moines (November 2018) On Thursday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m., the Art Center will screen one of the most talked about art documentaries How to Steal a Chair, 2017. Directed by Konstantinos Kambouroglou, the film is 87 minutes and not rated. The director will introduce the film and participate in a Q & A with the audience after the screening. And on Sunday, Nov. 25, 1:30 p.m., the Art Center will screen Through the Repellent Fence, 2017. The film is 74 minutes; not rated. Producer Jeffrey Brown will be on hand to introduce the film and then talk with the audience afterwards about making a film on both sides of the border. The films will be shown in Levitt Auditorium, and are free and open to the public.

How to Steal a Chair Stergios Delialis is a 72 year-old Greek designer, collector, and educator buried under the weight of his lost dream: the Thessaloniki Design Museum, which made an international splash and then died a slow and peculiar death in the 1990s. He is also buried under the weight of his enormous design collection, once the core of his museum, and now defunct and too costly to maintain amidst the financial crisis. The film follows Stergios as he realizes he has become a ghost in his own life and contemplates parting with his collection. Meanwhile, he undertakes to produce a retrospective of his own design work in the building of his lost museum.

This film is presented in partnership with Grinnell College.

Through the Repellent Fence follows art collective Postcommodity as they strive to construct Repellent Fence, a two-mile-long outdoor artwork that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border. Postcommodity consists of three Native American artists who “put land art in a tribal context.” Aided by the communities on both sides of the border in 2015, the artists installed a series of 28 huge inflatable spheres emblazoned with an insignia known as the “open eye” that has existed in Indigenous cultures from South America to Canada for thousands of years. The spheres were evenly spaced apart and extended north and south of the border a mile in each direction. It’s a metaphorical suture stitching together cultures that have inhabited these lands long before borders were drawn.

According to Postcommodity, “The intention of the Repellent Fence is to dialogue with the complex realities of the border experiences of indigenous peoples, which includes those who are geographically divided by the United States/Mexico border.”

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Des Moines Art Center Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center, an AAM-accredited institution, has amassed an important collection with a major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the 19th century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velásquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind. The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect—Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn provided funding for and donated 29 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Mark di Suvero, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Yayoi Kusama, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra, and Joel Shapiro is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a collaboration of the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private donors.

 

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