Dienstag, 5. Februar 2013, 19 Uhr
KIDS OF SURVIVAL: The Art and Life of Tim Rollins & K.O.S. 1996. USA. Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller. 87 min.
With an introduction by Tim Rollins, Angel Abreu and Rick Savinon.
Filmed over the course of three years in the South Bronx studio workshop of Tim Rollins + K.O.S., Kids of Survival portrays the workings of this combined classroom and art studio around the production of some of their best known suites of paintings and sculptures. Tim Rollins opened the workshop to students of Intermediate School 52 who had few alternatives, beginning in 1981, and out of a network of roughly seventy students by the mid-1980s, a core group populates the film, including Victor Llanos, Carlos Rivera, Angel Abreu and Rick Savinon, all long-standing members of K.O.S., working with Rollins since the age of 13, and some continuing to this day.
The work with K.O.S. began two years after Rollins had co-founded Group Material and while getting a Masters in Education at NYU. It is his dual effectiveness in teaching and art making through a singular process that makes Rollins’ project such a breathtaking story. His method is to ground the entire enterprise in literature, distributing the experiential value of great books equally among art works and students who would not encounter these texts otherwise: “We begin by cutting up the text. We vandalize it, but we also honor it; and we end up making it our own” Rollins states near the start of Geller and Goldfine’s video.
The film also focuses on the group’s engagement with the art world. The studio, production supplies and salaries paid to the participants are derived entirely by sales of art works, obviating what might have been an expected politically motivated rejection of the market under a banner of art as social production. It is a tension that bleeds into discussions of the cultural boundaries challenged by Rollins and K.O.S. by their very practice. Felix Gonzalez-Torres responded to some of these questions in a statement from 1989: “The collaborative process that leads to the creation of the work—for example, the paintings based on Animal Farm—is very significant. It is through those discussions that Tim brings important knowledge to the group, knowledge that contextualizes the place of those kids in history and in the world in general. It is okay to live in the ghetto, but to be the ghetto is dreadful” – Jason Simon
This film is the first in a series of screenings on the occasion of the exhibition Tell it to my heart: Collected by Julie Ault at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel.
For more information on the program: http://www.kunstmuseumbasel.ch/index.php?id=226