Weeklong celebration, CinéVardaExpo.Agnès Varda in Chicago, includes free public exhibition, talks, and film screenings

July 23, 2015

October 8–15, 2015 (Exhibition Dates: Sep 11–Nov 8, 2015)
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
915 E 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Renowned French film director and visual artist Agnès Varda will spend Oct 8 – 15 in residence at the University of Chicago as part of a major weeklong celebration of her work.

CinéVardaExpo.Agnès Varda in Chicago includes a public lecture by Varda on Oct 9, a conversation between Varda and artist Jessica Stockholder on Oct 11, a public Q&A on Oct 15, and screenings of selected films throughout the week, many attended by Varda herself. The Logan Center Gallery will host an exhibition of Varda’s recent work, Photographs Get Moving (potatoes and shells, too), from Sep 11–Nov 8. Reservations are required for some events and available at tickets.uchicago.edu.

“In her work, Agnès Varda displays a powerful talent for weaving together questions of the individual and the collective, the subjective and the objective, the real and the imaginary, and the beautiful and the dismal,” said Dominique Bluher, Lecturer and Director of MA Studies in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies and one of the organizers of Varda’s residency. “I love Varda’s poetic wit and intelligence, and the way she anchors the conceptual in the sensual. She is also unafraid of transformation: as she likes to put it, ‘I am an old filmmaker who has become a young visual artist.’ I am thrilled that Agnès Varda is coming to the University of Chicago to celebrate her work with us.”

At 87, Varda is one of the most significant voices in French and European cinema as well as in the world of art. Sometimes called the “grandmother of the French New Wave,” she has created more than 40 short, documentary, and fiction films for both TV and cinema, and staged many exhibitions of photographs and installation pieces. Among her best-known works are Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cléo From Five To Seven, 1961), Sans toit ni loi (Vagabond, 1985), and Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse (The Gleaners and I, 2000). Her latest feature length film, Les Plages d’Agnès (The Beaches of Agnès, 2008), premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September 2009.

In 2003, Varda was invited by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist to show her visual art at the Venice Biennale. Since then, her photography, installations, sculptures, and performance pieces have been exhibited at the Lyon Biennale, SMAK Ghent, Foundation Cartier for Contemporary Art in Paris, CAFA Art Museum in Beijing, and LACMA in Los Angeles.

During her visit, Varda will participate in several events for UChicago students. These include master classes on her work as a director of fiction and documentary films and a lunch with graduate students from the Department of Visual Arts, the Department Cinema and Media Studies, and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Cinema and Media Studies will be offering a mixed undergraduate/graduate course on Agnès Varda’s work this fall.

CinéVardaExpo is presented by Logan Center Exhibitions and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, and the Film Studies Center. Additional support was provided by France Chicago Center, the French Institute, and the University of Chicago Arts Council. This series of events is sponsored in part by the Chuck Roven Fund, the Franke Institute for the Humanities, the Norman Wait Harris Fund, and the Counter Cinema/Media Project of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.

CinéVardaExpo is organized by Dominique Bluher, Lecturer and Director of MA Studies in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies; Camille Morgan, Logan Center Exhibitions Curatorial Coordinator; Leigh Fagin, Associate Director of University Arts Engagement; and Julia Gibbs, Assistant Director of the Film Studies Center.


About the Exhibition

Photographs Get Moving (potatoes and shells, too)

Sep 11–Nov 8, 2015

Reception: Fri, Oct 9, 5–9 pm

Agnès Varda puts films in her photos, and photos, potatoes, and shells in her films and video-installations. The exhibition proposes a dialogue between still photography and moving pictures. Four recent video-installations will be presented alongside a selection of her photographic work exploring or questioning the polarity between still and moving, broken and continuous, fleeting and fixed or captured. Curated by Dominique Bluher, Lecturer and Director of M.A. Studies in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies.

About the Film Programming

The film programming presented as part of CinéVardaExpo includes landmark works as well as rarely seen films that highlight Varda’s feminist perspective and reveal new connections between her long-standing fascination with photography, color and “mise-en-scène as installation.”  All films are in French with English subtitles.

About the Artist

Agnès Varda is one of the most significant voices in French and European cinema and in the world of art. She has directed more than 40 short, documentary, and fiction films for both TV and cinema, and staged numerous exhibitions of her artwork. Varda began her career as a still photographer working primarily for Jean Vilar at the Avignon Theater Festival, and later at the National Popular Theater at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris.

In 1954 she made her first feature, La Pointe courte (1954), one of the key precursor films of the French New Wave. Among her best-known works are: Cléo de 5 à 7 (1961), Le Bonheur (1964, Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival) Sans toit ni loi (Vagabond, 1985, Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival), and Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse (The Gleaners and I, 2000). Her latest feature length film, Les Plages d’Agnès (Agnès’ Beaches, 2008), premiered at the Venice Film Festival in Sep 2009. In 2010 – 2011, she directed a documentary series Agnès de ci de là Varda (Agnès Varda: From Here to There) for the French-German TV channel ARTE.

In 2003, Varda was invited by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist to show her visual art at the Venice Biennale. Since then, her photography, installations, sculptures, and performance pieces have been exhibited at the Lyon Biennale, SMAK Ghent, Foundation Cartier for Contemporary Art in Paris, CAFA Art Museum in Beijing, and LACMA in Los Angeles. In 2014, the European Film Academy presented the writer-director with its 27th lifetime achievement award for her body of work, and in recognition of her contribution to the world of film. In 2015, Varda received an honorary Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.  



Schedule of Confirmed Public Events:

    * filmmaker in attendance

Exhibition: Photographs Get Moving (potatoes and shells, too)
September 11–November 8, 2015

  • Thursday, October 8: Opening Night Screenings - Agnès de ci de là Varda  / Agnès Varda: From Here to There (2011)*

    • 5 pm (Episodes 1 and 2)

    • 7 pm (Episodes 3 – 5)

  • Friday, October 9:

    • 5–9 pm: Exhibition Opening Reception*

    • 7 pm: Public Lecture in the Logan Center Performance Hall*

  • Saturday, October 10

    • 2 pm: Playing Colors, including Du côté de la côte / The Riviera —Today's Eden (1954), and Le Bonheur / Happiness (1964)* (Short Q&A after the film with Varda)

    • 4 pm: Women Reply, including Réponse de femmes / Women Reply (1975), and L’une chante l’autre pas / One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (1976)* (Intro by Varda)

    • 7 pm: Sans toit ni loi / Vagabond (1985)

  • Sunday, October 11:

    • 12–1 pm: Jessica Stockholder and Agnès Varda in conversation

    • 2 pm: Still Photography and Moving Pictures,

      including Salut les Cubains / Hello Cubans (1963), and Ulysse (1982)

    • 4 pm: Mise-en-scène As Installation / Installation As Mise-en-scène,

      including 7P., cuis., s. de b... (à saisir)  / 7 rms, kit, bath... [grab it] (1984), Jane B. par Agnès V. / Jane B. by Agnès V. (1987)

  • Monday, October 12:

7 pm: Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse  / The Gleaners and I  (2000)

at Black Cinema House (7200 S Kimbark Ave)

  • Wednesday, October 14: Screening of Cléo de 5 à 7 / Cléo From Five To Seven

    at the Music Box Theater* ($12, musicboxtheatre.com)

  • Thursday, October 15:

    • 6 pm: Closing Night Screening of Les Plages d’Agnès / The Beaches of Agnès (2008) followed by a Q&A with Varda.*


Visitor Information

All events are free and at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts (except the screening at the Music Box Theater), and reservations are required where noted. RSVP for University of Chicago events at tickets.uchicago.edu.

The exhibition, Photographs Get Moving (potatoes and shells, too) at the Logan Center is open during the EXPO CHICAGO/2015, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art (Sep 17–20, 2015). Buses will run between EXPO CHICAGO at Navy Pier and Hyde Park to allow curators, collectors, and art enthusiasts to explore gallery and museum spaces on the South Side.

Information on transportation, parking, dining options, and campus highlights is available at arts.uchicago.edu/visit.

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