The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden continues to provide some of the best in contemporary and repertory film with its spring screenings. Coordinated by curator Kelly Gordon, the series features a variety of exceptional, unusual and recently released works from around the world, and offers audiences the chance to hear from celebrated filmmakers, artists and scholars. All screenings are free and are held in the Hirshhorn’s Ring Auditorium. Seating is first-come, first-served.
Bigert & Bergström’s The Weather War (2012)
Thursday, March 27; 8 p.m.
The Weather War is a documentary/art film about man’s attempts to control the weather and harness it for his own purposes. In a blend of land art, performance and road movie, Swedish artist duo Bigert & Bergström travel to the U.S. tornado belt with their 100,000-volt machine-sculpture “The Tornado Stopper.” Their goal? Stop a tornado. Along the way, the audience sees how the science of meteorology has developed in symbiosis with military aims and how these joint visions have evolved into modern ideas of geoengineering.
Presented in conjunction with the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.
Jeffrey Schwarz’s I Am Divine (2013)
Thursday, April 3; 8 p.m.
Real life was too small a stage, Harris Glenn Milstead too ordinary a name. So a shy Baltimore boy teamed up with John Waters and reinvented himself as Divine, the most notorious drag queen ever. With new interviews and archival footage, this documentary consults Waters, Elton John, Jayne Mansfield, Alan Thicke and Ricki Lake to shed light on a countercultural icon whose legend continues to have international impact.
Hic et Nunc: Here and Now—a survey of new video from Spain
Thursday, April 10; 8 p.m.
Cultural theorist Imma Prieto Carrillo discusses sociopolitical issues and activism, as reflected in recent works by 12 artists and artist collectives: Eugenio Ampudia, Daniel G. Andújar, Maria Cañas, Jordi Colomer, Jorge García, Chus García-Fraile, Marta de Gonzalo & Publio Pérez Prieto, Núria Güell, Mateo Maté, PSJM, Avelino Sala and Pelayo Varela. The works are subtitled in English and the discussion will be in English.
Presented in conjunction with SpainCULTURE/USA.
Saturday, April 26; noon to midnight
In celebration of the last weeks of “Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950,” disaster epics will be featured throughout the day and evening, culminating in a crowdsourced favorite determined by SurveyMonkey polling. Watch the best (and sometimes worst) B-movies ever to dish up catastrophe on a cinematic scale. There will be a number of contests, with prizes awarded from the Ring stage. Take home top honors for the best homemade, disaster-inspired hat or the most artfully composed justification for a flick’s inclusion in the pantheon of disaster film. Marathoners who watch all six flicks will receive a special prize for endurance. This is one event where no one will be told to put away their phone—there will be live-tweeting throughout the day. See hirshhorn.si.edu for more information.
Takashi Murakami’s Jellyfish Eyes [Mememe no kurage] (2013)
Thursday, May 22; 8 p.m.
Japanese Superflat auteur Takashi Murakami introduces and discusses his first live-action feature film. Jellyfish Eyes will embark on a nine-stop screening tour of art institutions and cultural venues across the United States. The film combines Murakamiʼs trademark anime-inspired visual aesthetic with broader themes of social change and self-empowerment. Blending computer-animated graphics and live-action cinematography, Jellyfish Eyes is a coming-of-age tale set in a post-Fukushima world, recalling Japanese monster films of the 1950s while embodying the promise of generational hope.
Jellyfish Eyes tells the story of Masashi, a young boy who moves to a sleepy town in the Japanese countryside with his mother in the wake of a natural disaster. After returning home from his new elementary school one day, Masashi discovers a flying jellyfish-like creature whom he befriends and names Kurage-bo. Masashi soon discovers that all his classmates have similarly magical pets, known as F.R.I.E.N.D.s, which are controlled by electronic devices that the children use to battle one another. Despite their playful appearances, however, these F.R.I.E.N.D.s turn out to be part of a sinister plot that will threaten the entire town.
The Hirshhorn offers a range of interactive educational experiences designed to engage people of all interest levels in contemporary art; consult hirshhorn.si.edu for a complete schedule. Also available on the website is the museum’s archive of podcasts, which makes gallery walk-throughs and interviews with artists accessible internationally.
About the Hirshhorn
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian’s museum of international modern and contemporary art, has nearly 12,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs,
mixed-media installations, works on paper and new media works in its collection. The Hirshhorn presents diverse exhibitions and offers an array of public programs that explore modern and contemporary art. Located at Independence Avenue and Seventh Street S.W., the museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission to the galleries and special programs is free. For more information about exhibitions and events, visit hirshhorn.si.edu. Follow the Hirshhorn on Facebook at , on Twitter at and on Tumblr at hirshhorn.tumblr.com. Or sign up for the museum’s eBlasts at hirshhorn.si.edu/collection/social-media. To request accessibility services, contact Kristy Maruca at email@example.com or (202) 633-2796, preferably two weeks in advance.