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The Western in Myth and Metaphor
Piotr Uklanski's Summer Love, panel discussion with: Piotr Uklanski, Katarzyna Figura, Chrissie Iles, Jim Hoberman

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Whitney Museum of American Art
New York, NY

Whitney Museum of American Art

and the Polish Cultural Institute


The Western in Myth and Metaphor

A discussion on the occasion of Piotr Uklanski's Summer Love

(on view at the Whitney, October 17 - December 9, 2007, Film & Video Gallery, Floor 2)

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 7:00 PM

Join artist Piotr Uklanski, actress Katarzyna Figura, curator Chrissie Iles, and film critic Jim Hoberman as they contextualize Uklanski's Summer Love within the classic American film genre of the Western.

Whitney Museum of American Art

(Film and Video Gallery, Floor 2)

945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, New York, NY 10021

Admission: $8; senior citizens and students $6; members: free. Advance sales are strongly recommended as space is limited. Tickets may be purchased by clicking here or by visiting the Museum Admission Desk. Inquiries: or (212) 570-7715.

Summer Love (2006), the first feature film by conceptual artist Piotr Uklanski, appropriates one of American popular cinema's most classic genres - the Western - to create an allegorical movie. Shot in southern Poland with a mainly Polish cast (but with dialogue in English), the film's stock characters are instantly recognizable to viewers for whom the myth of the American West is ingrained by the Westerns of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Yet Uklanski's film is "a copy of a copy", referring to the European spaghetti Western as much as to the American 'original'. As Uklanski explains, his film exploits cinema's most codified genre to address issues of cultural authenticity. With its impressive cinematography and strong performances, including an intentionally gimmicky appearance by Hollywood star Val Kilmer, Summer Love functions not only as a conceptual statement, but also as a genuine Western, adding to the grand tradition of the genre.

Summer Love, Poland, 2006 (35mm, 93 min, in English, color, sound) is screened on: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11:30 am and 2:45 pm; Fridays at 1:30 pm, 3:45 pm, and 6:30 pm.

...the first deconstructed art western. - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times (read the full review)

a mock spaghetti western that manages to be both parody and homage, albeit less western than spaghetti. Or rather "kielbasa" [&] Beginning with its vertiginous opening shoot-out, Summer Love is characterized by some credibly mad filmmaking.- Jim Hoberman, Village Voice

Director of photography Jacek Petrycki (who has worked with Agnieszka Holland and Krzysztof Kieslowski), editor Mike Horton ("The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers") (&) make everything look and sound authentic. - Ray Bennett, The Hollywood Reporter

Piotr Uklanski (b. 1968 in Warsaw, Poland), is an accomplished conceptual artist who has exhibited his work in numerous museums throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Centre Pompidou in Paris, as well as at the Sao Paolo Biennale and Venice Biennale. He lives and works in New York and in Warsaw. In his photographic works, collages, sculptures, installations, video, and performances, Uklanski uses stereotypical motifs and strategies from pop culture, art, and cinema to address issues of cultural identity and authenticity.

Katarzyna Figura, irrefutably a top star of stage and screen in Poland, was dubbed the Polish Marilyn Monroe following her breakthrough role in Train to Hollywood by Radoslaw Piwowarski in 1987. She appeared in Roman Polanski's Oscar-winning World War II film, The Pianist, Robert Altman's Pret-a-Porter, as well as Ruggero Deodato's Italian slasher film, The Washing Machine. Her Polish filmography includes Ryszard Brylski's White Soup, Andrzej Wajda's Revenge, and Piotr Szulkin's Ga-ga: Glory to the Heroes.

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