Former Chinati artist returns to Marfa with satirical film
By JOHN DANIEL GARCIA
MARFA – Houston-born artist and 2008 Chinati Foundation artist in residence Mark Flood is returning to Marfa to screen his first film, “Art Fair Fever,” at this year’s CineMarfa Film Festival.
Flood, who is known for his subversive paintings, collages, and as the singer for experimental punk rock band Culturcide (under the pseudonym Perry Webb), will close out this year’s film festival at 8pm Sunday, May 7 at the Crowley Theater.
For his first foray into film, Flood began on the project for the sole purpose of getting a break on his taxes.
“I was taking 45 people to Miami Beach for the art fair there, and I needed to make it tax deductible, so I gave them all Flip cameras and told them to shoot everything that happened,” he told the Big Bend Sentinel. “True story. We dumped all the footage into a computer, and we did use a lot of it.”
After the Miami Beach art fair, Flood held his own art fair in New York City, where he and his crew continued to film footage, he said.
The film’s production, he added, was completed with a 30-day shoot in an Austin warehouse with the help of his niece Carmen Hilbert, who works in the Austin film industry.
“She made it happen in a professional way,” said Flood of his collaboration with Hilbert.
The screening of the Art Fair Fever at CineMarfa will be a full-circle situation for Flood, who first began to think of the possibility of making a film after having attended a previous iteration of the festival.
“I went to CineMarfa once and had a vision of showing a movie there,” he said, adding that any further work in film is uncertain. “I have a lot of ideas, but it’s grueling and expensive, so I don’t know.”
Though inspired by the desire to screen a movie at CineMarfa, he has shown rough cuts at “Paintings from the War for Social Justice,” his exhibition at Evergold Gallery in San Francisco and “Methage in a Bottle,” a Houston show of his at Cardoza Fine Arts.
The first screening of the final cut, he added, was screened at the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston in conjunction with his exhibition, “Gratest Hits.”
Art Fair Fever, he said, will not see any traditional distribution with the idea of the film being an art house film.
“I prefer to show it in the back rooms of my exhibits like an underground art film in the 70s or 80s,” he said. “As a normal movie in the normal movie world, I think it would just disappear. As an arty movie in the back room, it’s way over the top!”
The film was directed and financed by Flood and produced by Hilbert and Brittany Reeber.
“We had a great cast and crew. They were very professional,” he said, descending into his signature wit. “I tried to be, with mixed success. I found the crew had a paper bag on which they wrote down crazy quotes from me that they liked. Like one time I said about an actor about to do a scene, ‘This pork chop is fixin’ to jump up on the griddle.’”
Flood will be attending the screening fresh from a solo show, “Google Murder-Suicide” in Maccarone Gallery in New York City and will be exhibiting more work at a solo booth at the Basel Art Fair in Basel, Switzerland.
For more information on CineMarfa 2017, please visit www.cinemarfa.org.
Story filed under: Arts