Renowned French film director and visual artist Agnès Varda will spend Oct. 8 to 15 in residence at the University of Chicago as part of a major weeklong celebration of her work.
CinéVardaExpo.Agnès Varda in Chicago includes a public lecture by Varda on Oct. 9, a conversation between Varda and artist Jessica Stockholder on Oct. 11, a public Q&A on Oct. 15, and screenings of selected films throughout the week—many attended by Varda herself. The Logan Center Gallery will host an exhibition of Varda’s recent work, “Photographs Get Moving (potatoes and shells, too),” from Sept. 11 to Nov. 8. Reservations are required for some events and will be available at tickets.uchicago.edu.
“In her work, Agnès Varda displays a powerful talent for weaving together questions of the individual and the collective, the subjective and the objective, the real and the imaginary, and the beautiful and the dismal,” said Dominique Bluher, Lecturer and Director of M.A. Studies in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies and one of the organizers of Varda’s residency.
“I love Varda’s poetic wit and intelligence, and the way she anchors the conceptual in the sensual. She is also unafraid of transformation: as she likes to put it, ‘I am an old filmmaker who has become a young visual artist,’” Bluher added. “I am thrilled that Agnès Varda is coming to the University of Chicago to celebrate her work with us.”
At 87, Varda is one of the most significant voices in French and European cinema as well as in the world of art. Sometimes called the “grandmother of the French New Wave,” she has created more than 40 short, documentary and fiction films for both TV and cinema, and staged many exhibitions of photographs and installation pieces. Among her best-known works are Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cléo From Five To Seven, 1961), Sans toit ni loi (Vagabond, 1985) and Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse (The Gleaners and I, 2000). Her latest feature length film, Les Plages d’Agnès (The Beaches of Agnès, 2008), premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September 2009.
In 2003, Varda was invited by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist to show her visual art at the Venice Biennale. Since then, her photography, installations, sculptures and performance pieces have been exhibited at the Lyon Biennale, SMAK Ghent, Foundation Cartier for Contemporary Art in Paris, CAFA Art Museum in Beijing, and LACMA in Los Angeles.
During her visit, Varda will participate in several events for UChicago students. These include master classes on her work as a director of fiction and documentary films and a lunch with graduate students from the Department of Visual Arts, the Department Cinema and Media Studies, and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Cinema and Media Studies will be offering a mixed undergraduate/graduate course on Agnès Varda’s work this fall.
For a full listing of events and sponsors, please visit arts.uchicago.edu/cinevardaexpo.