Artists, filmmakers and movie buffs can come together at the Weisman Art Museum on Wednesday.
As a part of their ongoing efforts to engage the student body with the Weisman, the museum’s student group, WAM Collective, is hosting a short film screening of the works of students and emerging filmmakers.
“Something we’ve been wanting to do more of is showcase student artists or emerging artists,” said WAM Collective member Lexi Herman, a senior studying studio art. “It’s hard to do that in a museum space that is for more established artists … We thought this screening would be a great way to bring student voices in … It’s our way of doing a few film events this month [that are] kind of cozy and nice for the weather.”
Student interest for a film screening has been growing over the past few years. When Kara Hakanson, a University of Minnesota graduate who studied cinema and media culture, worked at the Weisman as a security guard, she wanted a chance to share her work.
“When I was working there, I was right in the middle of production, so I felt like I was talking about it a lot with my coworkers,” Hakanson said. “I ended up connecting with Lexi, and we met up … and [she] had wanted a film screening at the Weisman for a while.”
The result of their conversations was this Wednesday’s film screening. Added on to the museum’s monthly Study Night and extended hours, the screening will showcase a range of work, from absurdist video art to more narrative films, like Hakanson’s film, “fifteen.”
“It’s a coming-of-age film about a 15-year-old girl who is basically figuring out love and having sex for the first time … The story follows her trying to figure out what everyone is trying to tell her to do and what she actually believes,” Hakanson said. “A lot of people have said it’s relatable. I like to say it’s funny … It’s teenagers coming of age, so there are lots of awkward moments.”
Herman, a video artist herself, submitted a more experimental film to the screening.
“I do a lot of experimental video dealing with the ideas of virtual versus real spaces, flatness and the virtual flattening of our reality,” Herman said. “[My film] is really short. It’s absurd and kind of funny … I use a few different illusion tricks, [like] using cardboard cutouts and wearing Kim Kardashian’s face over my face.”
WAM Collective received multiple submissions for the screening, proving there is no shortage of filmmaking talent or interest on campus.
“I think there’s this great filmmaking surge going on, just because having cameras now is so easily accessible and getting the editing software is easy,” Hakanson said.
What is more difficult, however, is finding established screenings, like the Weisman’s, as a new artist. By providing this opportunity, the WAM Collective is allowing students to showcase their work in nondigital spaces.
“I think there’s so many different artists nowadays, and with the varying platforms online, it’s important to have one that’s more personal … and engaged with the community in a physical space,” said WAM Collective member Anya Udovik, a senior studying art history. “[Our screening] is a more community-oriented space where you can engage in conversation with others around you.”