Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present
This past April, the great, luminescent Tony Conrad left the material world. The impact of his departure has resonated through sound, music, film and visual art communities worldwide. In 2013, we were honored to have Tony as part of our Transcendence Festival (v15), where he left an indelible mark on all of us. A fabulous artist who pushed boundaries and challenged definitions at every turn, matched by his playful and generous, supportive spirit, Tony Conrad’s contribution to the creative realm is immeasurable.
Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present is a feature documentary about the pioneering life and works of artist, musician and educator, Tony Conrad, who has remained an enigmatic figure for fifty years. The film traces Tony’s incredible history in the now-legendary downtown New York underground scene of the 1960s through to the present as he is finally being recognized for his decades-sweeping art and film projects.
The film cuts between Tony’s historic challenges to the very foundations of film, music and 500 years of Western thought, deeply personal moments and interviews of well-known contemporary artists and musicians who contextualize Tony’s influence on their work and on art/music movements at large. The combined effect reveals Tony’s playful approach to life and art making as well as his deep sense of justice, which infused flickering light, single note music and our education systems with powerful political radicalism.
As a conclusion to this years’ eighteenth edition, we veer from our thematic programming to present a special preview screening of this brand-new documentary film. Completed just before Tony Conrad’s untimely passing, the film features footage that has been amassed over the past twenty-two years.
Presented in partnership with the Winnipeg Film Group.