Great Big Tony Conrad Weekend

[ART] There is hardly a cultural vanguard, from the late 1950s on, that the late Tony Conrad didn’t occupy, and hardly an artist or an art student of a certain age or older who wasn’t touched by his influence. This is in part because Conrad—sound and video artist, filmmaker, musician, writer, composer, academic—collaborated with lots of people, both abroad and here in Buffalo, which became his home in 1976, when he joined the faculty at UB’s Center for Media Studies. Here he took his place among a firmament of avant-garde stars: Steina and Woody Vasulka, Hollis Frampton, Paul Sharits, Gerald O’Grady, Cathy Steffan, and Jame Blue among them. And now, with his birthday (March 7) approaching, four of the region’s leading cultural centers are collaborating with one another, sort of, to mark the legacy of Conrad, who died two years ago at age 76. Closing this Friday, March 2 at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center after a six-week run is Tony Conrad @ Hallwalls, which document’s Conrad’s work there. Dee it before it closes, then move on: Opening at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery on Friday, March 2, 5-7pm, is Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective, and exhibit presented in collaboration with the UB Art Gallery and UB Center for the Arts (with exhibits in all three venues). And across the street from the Albright-Knox at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, on Friday, March 3, there will be a screening of Conrad’s video works collected in a show called Tony Conrad: Surplus Affect. That opens at 7pm. It’s a great big Tony Conrad weekend. Avail yourself, and discover why Conrad once famously said of himself, “You don;t know who I am, but somehow, indirectly, you’ve been affected by the things I did.”


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