Ultimate safe movie ticket: ‘Film as a Monument’ exhibit screens in open air on the side of a church
Anxious to get back to movie theaters but still apprehensive despite getting your first or even second vaccine shot? Something to tide you over might be the “Film as a Monument” exhibit at Lesley University, which takes the concept of community and contactless film screening to another level. The experimental film, a stream of handcrafted images on “celluloid” edited together to evoke on a visceral level, screens in loop at the university’s Lunder Arts Center. Each night, passersby in Porter Square can watch the film projected from the glass-encased side of the center onto the side of the former North Prospect Congregational Church that the school bought and incorporated into its Massachusetts Avenue arts center in 2013.
The exhibit, funded by the Ralph Bradley Prize, is a collaboration between Lesley’s College of Art & Design, Women in Film & Video New England, and the Boston LGBTQIA+ Artist Alliance. The project grew out of Lesley’s “Film as Installation” course taught by assistant professor Ingrid Stobbe, in which students explored the concept of monuments – the remembrance of events, individuals or ideas – through hand-painted celluloid artwork. Besides contributions from Stobbe’s student, the exhibit includes works from high school artists at the West End House Boys and Girls Club, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and other institutions who participated in workshops led by artist and experimental filmmaker Gabby Sumney. The exhibit was kicked off by Carrie Van Horn, associate registrar at the Institute of Contemporary Art, and runs through the end of the month.
Tom Meek is a writer living in Cambridge. His reviews, essays, short stories and articles have appeared in the WBUR ARTery, The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Globe, The Rumpus, The Charleston City Paper and SLAB literary journal. Tom is also a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and rides his bike everywhere.