Back Issues
Carnegie MuseumsMedia Kit



“My characters
are kind of fringe people of all races and ethnic backgrounds. That’s what interests me.”






Orlandersmith and others entice audiences with dark characters and playful sexuality.

An Evening with Dael Orlandersmith
April 10

Dael Orlandersmith has never been to The Andy Warhol Museum, but as a New Yorker who shared Warhol’s stomping grounds, this poet, actor, and playwright can riff on Warhol and his activities with authority. Listeners are simply expected to hang on as she roller-coasters through occasionally esoteric references to Warhol’s outré associates, his dichotomous personality (“I was always dying to see him without the wig”), Velvet Underground song lyrics, and other aspects of his world.

Orlandersmith might revisit these subjects when she appears at The Warhol on April 10 as part of its Off the Wall series. However, she definitely plans to invoke a Holocaust victim and an Italian man, among other personas.

“What I tend to do is mix poetry with characters,” she says. “My characters are kind of fringe people of all races and ethnic backgrounds. That’s what interests me.”
That unique mix of poetry and personas turned Orlandersmith into a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for her 2002 play, Yellowman. She also earned a Drama Desk acting nod for her role in the play, which scrutinizes the internal racism that exists in black America.

The tale itself is dark, Orlandersmith says. In a mock basement-low voice, she reveals that her next play, now being written, also will be “very dark.” She likes darkness, depth. She likes rawness.

“I hate when people talk about, ‘Well, you have to give an audience hope.’…We have to give ourselves permission to realize that it’s not always a happy ending,” she says. “And just because someone doesn’t end it that way doesn’t mean they’re doing gratuitous work. I can tell when somebody’s trying to shock me versus someone who’s trying to tell me a story because that is the way it is.”

For the record, Orlandersmith more or less hung out with Warhol, but she never wanted to be part of his particular scene — or anyone else’s. She says she’s not a joiner. She believes conforming to the confines of any group occurs at the expense of one’s individualism. Like all the best writers and actors, Orlandersmith prefers to be an observer of the human condition—in all its up, down, and turned-around permutations.

Richard Maxwell & the New York City Players

March 6 and 7

March 6 and 7, Off the Wall moves inside the walls of a guest room in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Hilton Hotel, where the New York City Players will perform Richard Maxwell’s play, Showcase.

Maxwell, whose work is characterized by a minimalist, almost expressionless acting style, has been called one of the most innovative theater artists of his generation. The New York Times labels his work “quiet magic.” While his words may seem like snippets of overheard conversation, they’re delivered in a form that deconstructs the concept of acting as we know it. Showcase plumbs the thoughts of a businessman absorbed in his private, hotel-room world as he and his shadow examine his past.

Richard Maxwell

New Paradise Laboratories

April 24

On April 24, the series showcases Philadelphia’s New Paradise Laboratories in a performance of Whit McLaughlin’s Stupor, inspired by Francisco Goya’s Los Caprichos etchings. The company’s experimental “movement theater” pieces are noted for “tremendous physical energy, ironic awareness to burn and … playful sexuality.” Each one attempts to slide between the sheets of pop culture to better understand just what’s going on under its covers.


AMP @ The Warhol


When Pittsburgh's non-profit Sprout Fund decided to expand the successful month-long local music showcase it sponsored in 2003 to include other artistic genres, The Andy Warhol Museum got right on board as a co-sponsor of the visual arts component. As part of this year's AMP (Art, Music, Peformance) project, The Warhol partnered with the Sprout Fund to present a juried exhibition of more than 100 local artists; on view throughout the month of February.

Submissions to AMP were open to all artists from the Pittsburgh region with the guideline that all works had to be exactly 12"x 12" square. More than 270 works were submitted for consideration—their diversity reflecting the varied collection of the region's artists. The Warhol's director, Thomas Sokolowski, and John Smith, assistant director of collections and research, narrowed that number down to the 138 works they considered to be the cream of the crop. The majority of the works in the exhibition were for sale.

The mission of the Sprout Fund and the goal of the AMP project was to expose local artists to new audiences, and vice versa, in an effort to promote and expand Pittsburgh's growing arts scene.

As a companion to the AMP exhibition, The Warhol also presented the Flat File project, the acclaimed traveling component of the artist-run Pierogi 2000 gallery in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York. Pierogi 2000 founder, Joe Amrhein, was inspired to create the File as a way of making the artwork of young and emerging artists available to a larger audience of potential collectors. The version of the Flat File on view at The Warhol showcased the two-dimensional work of more than 275 artists from around the world.

The unique installation featured artworks hung on the gallery wall that corresponded to numbered drawers in the File—allowing visitors to delve into the file and leaf through a particular artist's complete portfolio. As was the case in the AMP exhibition, each work of art in the Flat File was for sale and reasonably priced, making it possible for visitors to The Warhol to purchase a drawing or print from a wide-range of up-and-coming artists.


Film Series Closes JFK
Assassination Exhibition

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy has been examined in many forms, but one of the most provocative has to be film. Because the medium is so popular, people tend to be very aware of film-based treatments that document, fictionalize, or selectively reflect the event and its aftermath.

When The Warhol’s Film and Video Department’s Programmer Greg Pierce planned the series that accompanies The Andy Warhol Museum exhibition, November 22, 1963: Image, Memory, Myth, he paired popular films with lesser-known productions to give viewers a closer look at “how much thought has gone into this incident in our history.” Some films may not provide definitive insights on their own, he says, but their impact grows when placed on a double bill. Some also enhance understanding of the exhibition’s context, and vice versa.

For example, The Warhol’s final program combines The JFK Conspiracy: The Case of Jim Garrison, with Oliver Stone’s controversial drama, JFK. The former, done in 1967, is an hour-long NBC white paper examining New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s attempts to prove a conspiracy.

“You’ll see the real Garrison, you’ll hear him talk, you’ll see the real witnesses,” Pierce says.

A scene from JFK (1991), directed by Oliver Stone; Pictured; Kevin Costner.

Stone’s 1991 film, starring Kevin Costner, stretches Garrison’s character, compresses others, and fictionalizes the story to drive the drama and prove that the conspiracy angle is not farfetched.
Together, they leave viewers with much to contemplate, and, as Pierce notes, show just how vast a field of study and speculation Kennedy’s assassination has wrought. The double-bill will be shown at 12:30 p.m., March 20 and 21.

Winter Kills, the 1979 film starring several well-known actors including Jeff Bridges, John Huston, Anthony Perkins, and Elizabeth Taylor, will be shown at
3 p.m., March 13 and 14. Bridges plays the head of a Kennedy-like family who investigates the assassination of his brother, the president.

“ It deals with the paranoia and the conspiracy surrounding the assassination,” as most of the series’ fiction films do, Pierce says.
At 12:30 p.m., March 6 and 7, The Warhol will screen the ABC-TV miniseries, The

Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald. Another fiction piece, it considers what might have happened if Oswald had gone on trial for Kennedy’s killing instead of being shot by Jack Ruby.

All films are free with admission. November 22, 1963: Image, Memory, Myth will be on view through March 21.

Back to Contents


Copyright (c) 2003 CARNEGIE magazine. All rights reserved.