Past Film/Video | Visiting Filmmakers | Contemporary Screen

Circumstantial Pleasures

(Lewis Klahr, 2012–19)

Virtual Q&A with Lewis Klahr | June 5

Stream | Online Premiere

A paper fist punches through a pie chart with a vintage lounge setting as the background.

The Wexner Center is proud to partner with Los Angeles–based experimental filmmaker Lewis Klahr to present the exclusive online premiere of his bold and powerful new work Circumstantial Pleasures. Klahr will join us for a virtual Q&A on June 5.

Klahr, whom critic J. Hoberman called “the reigning proponent of cut and paste” for his acclaimed collage animations, is best known for his seductive and piercing examinations of midcentury materials and music. Circumstantial Pleasures is a feature-length collection of six short films that see his focus swerve toward more contemporary materials and issues. Exit the lush worlds of melancholy and romance; enter the emptied-out landscapes of asphalt, shipping containers, and vape pods. Set to remarkable music by experimentalists David Rosenboom and Tom Recchion—and featuring a wailing wallop of a late-period song by Scott Walker—Circumstantial Pleasures captures and crystalizes the unease, ugliness, and inhumanity of contemporary life. Rather than restating the things we know, Klahr’s provocative new film uniquely illuminates the gritty emotional and physical textures of what it’s like to be alive right now. (65 mins., digital video)

"I always knew, at some point, I would create a feature-length series of films that used largely contemporary images to explore the current zeitgeist."
Lewis Klahr

Circumstantial Pleasures had its world premiere (and sole screening to date) at the esteemed Brooklyn microcinema Light Industry on February 29, 2020, just before the country began its lockdown due to COVID-19. Rather than wait for additional screening possibilities to emerge whenever in-person film festivals open up again, Klahr was eager to have the film more widely viewed during this present, anguished moment. Given our long history with Klahr—a past Artist Residency Award recipient and repeat guest to both our stages and Film/Video Studio—the Wexner Center is honored to provide a platform for this work now, when it’s especially resonant.

Join us on Friday, June 5, at 8 PM (EDT)/5 PM (PDT) for a live conversation with Klahr co-moderated by Associate Film/Video Curator Chris Stults and filmmaker and programmer Courtney Stephens. RSVP here.

Program lineup
Capitalist Roaders (2016, 18 mins.); music: David Rosenboom, Tom Recchion
Ramification Lesions (Microbial Stress) (2019, 10 mins.); music: David Rosenboom
Rachet the Margin (2016, 7 mins.); music: Tom Recchion
Virulent Capital (2018, 9 mins.); music: David Rosenboom
High Rise (2016, 2 mins.)
Circumstantial Pleasures (2019, 22 mins.); music: Scott Walker

More about the film
“A Surface of Circulation: Lewis Klahr Interviewed by Courtney Stephens,” BOMB 

"‘Circumstantial Pleasures’ Review: The Lyrical Junkman Cometh," by Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

See links to additional content below by J. Hoberman and Chris Stults on wexarts.org

In this color collage, a still from the film, a paper fist punches through a pie chart with a vintage lounge setting as the background.

Circumstantial Pleasures (Lewis Klahr, 2012–19), courtesy of the artist.

In this color collage, a still from the film, a hand is extended palm-up with wires coming out of it that connect to a bowl of soup.

Circumstantial Pleasures (Lewis Klahr, 2012–19), courtesy of the artist.

In this color collage, a still from the film, a hand holds four white pills in its palm against a blue background.

Circumstantial Pleasures (Lewis Klahr, 2012–19), courtesy of the artist.

In this color collage, a still from the film, a paper cut out of a face looks out on a green field that's covered in trash.

Circumstantial Pleasures (Lewis Klahr, 2012–19), courtesy of the artist.

 In this color collage, a still from the film, two hands hover over a modernist building while an oil barrel on a cart sits in the foreground.

Circumstantial Pleasures (Lewis Klahr, 2012–19), courtesy of the artist.

In this color collage, a still from the film, a bottom half of a mattress sits on a black background. A couple lounge on the bed. We see their feet and a cut through of the mattress revealing a stash of money.

Circumstantial Pleasures (Lewis Klahr, 2012–19), courtesy of the artist.

MADE POSSIBLE BY
Greater Columbus Arts Council
Ohio Arts Council
American Electric Power Foundation
The Columbus Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Nationwide Foundation

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY
Huntington Bank
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Kaufman Development
Cardinal Health Foundation

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Past Film/Video

Circumstantial Pleasures