WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5th 2020
TONY CONRADA Film by Tyler Hubby
COMPLETELY IN THE PRESENT
Featuring footage shot by Hubby over two decades, Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present captures Tony Conrad (1940-2016) in performance and in life, pulling a wide angle on his influential work across decades and disciplines. This engaging portrait of a polymath tracks Conrad’s activities as a musician and artist from the early 60s in New York City, where he was instrumental in the formation of the Velvet Underground, recorded the soundtrack for – and performed in – Jack Smith’s avant-drag film Flaming Creatures, and – perhaps most consequentially – was a founding figure of Minimalism. And indeed, this documentary delves into his historic collaborations with La Monte Young, and the lingering tensions over the legacy of that work. Completey in the Present fluidly surveys Conrad’s many avant-garde turns – such as his structural film The Flicker, his work with the krautrock band Faust, and his re-emergence in the 90s independent music scene as a celebrated elder. It’s a fun and fascinating ride. Replete with commentary from John Cale, Jim O’Rourke, MV Carbon, and others, Hubby’s film also examines Conrad’s long-term work with artists such as Mike Kelley and Tony Oursler, and his inspiring career as progressive arts educator and media activist in Buffalo, NY. This special event at Zebulon will be only the second time the film has screened in Los Angeles, where Hubby lives and works.
An unpretentious portrait of a singular artist. It requires no prerequisite knowledge of the subject, but it never shies away from its complex radicalism. – Matt Krefting, The WIRE
Tony Conrad may be one of the most influential artists of our time as well as the most underground. This film achieves the impossible task of capturing the mercurial, relentless and unlikely creative journey of the artist. – Tony Oursler, Artist