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Art Exhibit at CSUB's Madigan Gallery
  April 3, 2006
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456,,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138,

A video exhibition of two filmmakers is scheduled in the Todd Madigan Gallery at California State University, Bakersfield April 6-May 13.

The exhibition titled, "Back Brain Chimeras," is a series of films by Maya Deren and Stan Brakhage. Six films created by avant-garde filmmaker Deren will be shown on a TV while 26 of Brackhage's films will be projected to large size.

"Brackhage's work is quite beautiful," said Michael Johnson, director of the CSUB Todd Madigan Gallery. "They're like moving abstract paintings. Deren's films, all in black and white, are also beautiful, surreal and unusual even to our 21st century visually saturated eyes."

Deren (1917-1961) lived a short life but essentially founded experimental cinema in the United States and was deeply influential on subsequent filmmakers like Brakhage but also more commercial ones like David Lynch, director of "Mulholland Drive," Johnson said. Her films, mostly from the 1940s, seem dreamlike in construction, following strange and looping time schemes, loaded with symbolic images, such as keys, flowers, stars and dance.

Brakhage (1933-2003) sometimes used "back brain" to refer to the visual portion of the brain, the occipital lobe, "But such a term also connotes for him the ancientness or primordial nature of seeing, its unconscious associations," Johnson added. Brakhage began his filmmaking career in the early 1950s. By the mid 1960s he was already praised as one of the most experimental filmmakers. In the last decades of his life, he made many of his films by painting directly on clear film leader so that each frame of the film is a painting and the viewer experiences 24 paintings per second in the projection of the film. Some of the films include mythic-poetic imagery, such as in his most well-known film "Dog Star Man."

An opening reception is scheduled Thursday, April 27, at 5:30 p.m. in the gallery. Food and drinks will be served and parking in Lots B and C are free.

The Todd Madigan Gallery is located adjacent to the Doré Theatre on the CSUB campus, and is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m., and on Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m.

For more information on the events and parking, please contact the gallery at (661) 654-2238. Admissions to all events are free and open to the public.