Film Production Designer Alex Mcdowell to Deliver Glimcher Lecture at Wexner Center

Thu, Mar 19, 2009

Films Include Watchmen, Fight Club, Minority Report

Hollywood production designer Alex McDowell—best known for his work on the films Fight Club and Minority Report, and most recently Watchmen—will present the sixth annual Glimcher Lecture on Tuesday, April 7 at 7 pm in the Wexner Center’s Mershon Auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public.

McDowell is one of the most innovative production designers working in the film industry today, but the impact of his ideas extends far beyond cinema. McDowell advocates what he calls “immersive design,” and his work on Minority Report, Fight Club, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory not only amazed audiences worldwide but also set new standards for the integration of digital technology and traditional design. He also collaborated in the construction of a full-sized airport terminal for Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal, the largest architectural set ever built for film. McDowell did the production design for Watchmen, the just-released live-action film based on the legendary graphic novel by Alan Moore (click here for a March 6 interview about Watchmen in The Columbus Dispatch). In the musical realm, McDowell has collaborated with David Fincher on music videos for Madonna, and got his start working on music videos for such groups as the Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Adam and the Ants. Metropolis magazine writes that McDowell “has always been one to push boundaries.”

Notes Wexner Center Director Sherri Geldin, “With his fluid, cross-disciplinary approach and his always mind-bending aesthetic, Alex McDowell is a natural fit for the Wexner Center and the Glimcher Lecture series, and for Ohio State’s increasingly trans-institutional ethos. This promises to be a fascinating evening for anyone with an interest in the creative capacity of design to change our world—well beyond the realm of film.”

VISITOR INFORMATION: Film production designer Alex McDowell will speak on Tuesday, April 7 at 7 pm in the Wexner Center’s Mershon Auditorium, 1871 N. High St., as part of the Glimcher Lecture series. The lecture is free and open to the public. ASL interpretation will be provided. or 614 292-3535.

A visiting artist at MIT's Media Lab, McDowell is also currently involved in ProjectLab, an ongoing art-science exhibit series with Long Beach University Art Museum director Chris Scoates, that fuses emergent media, computer science, engineering, electronic music, digital art research and art production. At MIT’s Media Lab, he is also designing a “robot opera” called Death and the Powers, which will bring together McDowell’s experience in film design and animatronics to the stage for the first time.

This lecture is presented with support from the Glimcher Program Fund, which supports an annual lecture by a distinguished speaker in the fields of architecture and design. The fund was created through the generosity of the Glimcher family to provide lasting opportunities for Wexner Center patrons to further enhance their understanding of the art and architecture of our time. Past lectures have been given by Zaha Hadid, Walter Hood, Petra Blaisse, Thom Mayne and Bruce Mau.

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