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Jan 31, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Anthromentaries Four

Discussion with Steve Wetzel and Pacho Velez.

Steve Wetzel will be exhibiting several videos never seen in New York. In fact this group of works has never been seen much outside the Midwest. Each is inspired in its own way by observational documentary, ethnographic film and video, and the rich and hugely diverse body of experimental time-based art. In addition Steve will read a few passages from two of his short collections of writings published by the Green Gallery Press (Occasional Performances and Wayward Writings, 2010, and [Pause], 2014). The forms and subjects addressed in the writings range from essays and lectures on love, public space and mentorship, to email correspondences and interviews about teaching and art practice. Both texts will be available for purchase at the screening.

Steve Wetzel will be joined by filmmaker Pacho Velez for a conversation to follow the screening.

On Tuesday, February 3 at 7pm, Steve Wetzel will be part of the Flaherty NYC Winter/Spring 2015 program at Anthology Film Archives programmed by Sierra Pettengill & Pacho Velez. Details here.


Men’s Hockey, Steve Wetzel, USA, 2003, 28 min.

Men’s Hockey is a glimpse at a privileged and intimate space where men prepare for competition with each other. The video, the anthromentary, is recorded in a direct observational style that reveals the texture, complexity and everydayness of a single day inside the locker room of a professional hockey team in Rockford, IL.

Detroit Film Center, Detroit, MI

Wisconsin International Film Festival, Madison, WI

The First Shot is Silent (Kaszube’s Park), Steve Wetzel, 2010, 14 min.

The First Shot is Silent is about the commemoration of a once-thriving migrant fishing village in Milwaukee, now bulldozed into an industrial corridor. As with all progress, many experience its opposite: reversal into disappearance. The memorial attempts to preserve the idea and memory of the Kaszubes, and is a physical marker that conjures the realness of geography and the actual bodies that once animated it. It feels like a weak apology to me.

Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, PA

The Nightingale Theater, Chicago, IL

Kid Beat Box: Twenty-two Tapes, Edit Nine, Steve Wetzel, USA, 2009, 9 min.

In the end all biography is inadequate, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. There’s much to learn from these efforts. In saying this I don’t mean to suggest that Kid Beat Box is a biography; I don’t think it is, or if it is a biography, then that’s just part of the story, part of the experience: experiment in biography, anthromentary, experimental document, flimsy structuralist video, short documentary essay. Whatever the case it’s only nine minutes long, and we can handle that.

Milwaukee Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WI

Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, PA

The Nightingale Theater, Chicago, IL

Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, MI

Of the Iron Range, Steve Wetzel, USA, 2014, 20 min.

Of the Iron Range documents a cultural event in a small Midwestern town (Cuyuna, Minnesota) that once held the nation’s supply of iron ore. Every year, people from across the region gather for a dynamic, convivial social performance where hundreds of wood ticks are gathered and raced. Deeply symbolic and rich in human observation, Iron Range offers a portrait of one of America’s once-thriving industrial sites.

The Great Poor Farm Experiment, Manawa, WI

120 minutes

Wetzel_self_WEBSteve Wetzel is an artist and award-winning video maker from Minnesota, USA, and currently teaches in the Film Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Over the past decade Wetzel has produced many works of experimental non-fiction and anthromentary video, and has shown nationally and internationally. Much of Wetzel’s work focuses on social construction and the everyday inscription of the human symbolic. These themes can also be found in two small volumes of Wetzel’s writings, Occasional Performances and Wayward Writings (2010), and [PAUSE] (2014, Green Gallery Press), described variously by his editor as “an urgent and generous exegesis,” and “a contemporary mix of aesthetic-, personal-, and moral imminence.”

Pacho Velez works at the intersection of ethnography, contemporary art, and political documentary. His current project, The Reagan Years, explores a prolific actor’s defining role: Leader of the Free World. Told entirely through a largely-unseen trove of archival footage, the film captures the pageantry, pathos, and charisma that followed the 40th President from Hollywood to the nation’s capital. His last film, Manakamana (co-directed with Stephanie Spray) won a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. It played around the world, including at the Whitney Biennial and the Toronto International Film Festival.

Pacho lives in New York City. He teaches filmmaking at Bard College and MassArt. Along with Sierra Pettengill, he  is co- programming the Flaherty NYC’s  2015 spring program at Anthology Film Archives.


Jan 31, 2015
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


BROOKLYN, NY 11211 United States
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