Loading...

The Moral Museum: Selections From the Bick Archive 

Wednesday, Jan 31 2007
Comments

Who was Violet Bick? Movie buffs may remember her as a background character played by Gloria Grahame in Frank Capra’s 1946 movie It’s a Wonderful Life. For artist Cindy Smith, she’s the starting point for an investigation of gender roles and the varied threads that weave the tapestry of history. Smith’s project The Moral Museum: Selections From the Bick Archive, currently on display at Otis College’s Ben Maltz Gallery, collects an array of objects left behind by the fictitious Bick, and traces her life from her birth in 1923 in Seneca Falls (also the starting point of the American women’s-rights movement), through the founding of her design company, her writing, activism and eventual death in 1989. The show also includes a 34-minute faux documentary of a conversation between a journalist and a feminist filmmaker who has remade It’s a Wonderful Life. The short isn’t much as a cinematic work, but the conversation covers aspects of film history, theories of genre and Brecht’s notion of distanciation; there are also incisive comments on shifts in American myths, social values and notions of evil. The filmmaker’s comments are oddly compelling because it’s odd to hear such smart analysis outside the world of academia, and they nicely expand the conceits of an exhibition where you find yourself tumbling through fact and fiction on your way to a point of critical reflection. Brecht would be proud! Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design; thru March 31. (310) 665-6905.

—Holly Willis

Related Stories

Related Content

Now Showing

  1. Sat 2
  2. Sun 3
  3. Mon 4
  4. Tue 5
  5. Wed 6
  6. Thu 7
  7. Fri 8

    Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

    Sponsored by Fandor

Box Office

Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, concert and dining info & more!

Slideshows

  • Emmy-Nominated Costumes on Display
    On Saturday, the Television Academy and FIDM Museum and Galleries kicked off the Eighth Annual exhibition of "The Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design" with an exclusive preview and reception party. 100 costumes are featured from over 20 shows representing the nominees of the 66th Emmy Awards. The free to the public exhibition is located downtown at FIDM and runs from today through Saturday, September 20th. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Cowabunga! 30 Years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    The COWABUNGA! - 30 Years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tribute show opened Friday night at Iam8bit. Guests donned their beloved turtle graphic tees, onesies and a couple April O'Neils were there to report on all the mean, green, fighting machine action. Artist included Jude Buffum, Tony Mora, Nan Lawson, leesasaur, Jim Rucc, Mitch Ansara, Guin Thompson, Stratman, Gabe Swarr, Joseph Harmon, Alex Solis, Allison Hoffman, Jose Emroca Flores, Jack Teagle and more. All photos by Shannon Cottrell.
  • Are Westerns For The Weak? Not According to "Sensei" Martin Kove
    Decades ago, the western film was king, with nearly 100 produced every year at their peak in the 1940s, and their popularity extending years beyond. But today, other than rare successes like Django Unchained or True Grit, the genre is not in great shape. Films such as Cowboys and Aliens and The Lone Ranger failed to spark new interests in the western. It's a tough nut to crack, but veteran movie bad guy Martin Kove -- most well known for his role as Sensei John Kreese in The Karate Kid -- is passionate about the classic American film genre and is trying to revive it. We spent an afternoon at his home talking about westerns and how to make the genre interesting again. All photos by Jared Cowan.

Now Trending