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Warhol Screen Test | High Museum of Art

29 Nov ’11
High Museum of Art Atlanta | Family Day | Thanksgiving | Warhol Screen Tests Video | LeahAndMark.com

- Text & Video by +Jo
- Photos by Alumni Intern Andre

This is the time of the year that makes me miss my family terribly. Miss the traditions we had when I was young. Miss the conversations, laughter and communal meals filled with love. I created a new family in Savannah with all my friends and we would gather to celebrate when we couldn’t celebrate with our normal families. I moved to Atlanta less than a year ago. My hodge-podged family is now scattered about the U.S. I was fearful this Thanksgiving was going to be a sad one.  I yearn to have a full day of memories cultivated every year.

High Museum of Art Atlanta | Family Day | Thanksgiving | Warhol Screen Tests Video | LeahAndMark.com

Then Mark asked if I wanted to work Family Day at the High Museum. I jumped at the opportunity simply because it was the High. Then the details came in – “It’s the day after Thanksgiving.” Ok – not a problem. I had no problem going out to a gorgeous museum filled with amazing art. I’ll take that challenge any day. “You will be filming people.” Uh… Sure? I can do that. Don’t get me wrong, I have a nice basic understanding of videography. I should after all the stage and film work I’ve done. “We’re recreating Warhol’s Screen Tests.” OH! Now, I’m down for that.

Simply, between the years of 1964 -1966 Andy Warhol shot short clips of friends, artist and celebrities of the time. There was an evolution to what the people were doing in the little movies. Initially they would just stand or sit, not doing anything. Then he allowed them to move and do basic things like brush their teeth, drink a soda, etc. {My personal favorite is of Dali. It really captured who he was in the simplest of fashion.} Warhol would take the video, project an enlarged version onto white walls at a slower frame rate. There are many essaies on what his purpose was behind these “Screen Tests.” My interpretation is: Warhol was showing the beauty in common movements. There’s artistry in everyday life.

[videogallery id=”HighMuseum”]

Family day was filled with wonderful activities for children young and old to enjoy. There were so many  stations I couldn’t keep up with them all. You could draw, paint, build mobiles, listen to live music, dance, and on and on. A constant crowd streamed through all day and people really loved the opportunity to jump in front of the camera to be themselves. OR very silly. The kids especially. As soon as one was brave enough to try it, there would be a mini stampede of others joining. It’s funny. Adults were so nervous, self-conscious and shy. But the children opened up at the smallest amount of direction. And they had an entire bucket filled with props from the people at the High to inspire them. Sometimes, mom or dad would join in on the fun with their little ones. I think these were my favorite. Because I love the interactions between parent and child in this particular situation. The parent could let go of the adult world for 30 seconds and find confidence in their daughter or son. In return the child felt more confident to be in front of the camera because mom or dad were right there with them. Memories were made right in front of me.

How amazing is that?

High Museum of Art Atlanta | Family Day | Thanksgiving | Warhol Screen Tests Video | LeahAndMark.com
High Museum of Art Atlanta | Family Day | Thanksgiving | Warhol Screen Tests Video | LeahAndMark.com
High Museum of Art Atlanta | Family Day | Thanksgiving | Warhol Screen Tests Video | LeahAndMark.com
High Museum of Art Atlanta | Family Day | Thanksgiving | Warhol Screen Tests Video | LeahAndMark.com
High Museum of Art Atlanta | Family Day | Thanksgiving | Warhol Screen Tests Video | LeahAndMark.com
High Museum of Art Atlanta | Family Day | Thanksgiving | Warhol Screen Tests Video | LeahAndMark.com
High Museum of Art Atlanta | Family Day | Thanksgiving | Warhol Screen Tests Video | LeahAndMark.com
High Museum of Art Atlanta | Family Day | Thanksgiving | Warhol Screen Tests Video | LeahAndMark.com
High Museum of Art Atlanta | Family Day | Thanksgiving | Warhol Screen Tests Video | LeahAndMark.com

For me, Thanksgiving was always about the memories. My family never had to ask what we were thankful for. We all knew – because we were together. This day was filled, nonstop, with these moments. The best part? I filmed it. Each person and family have a little memory captured forever. They can go back, watch it again and enjoy the moments created together. I felt really honored to be an invisible part of their day. A little piece of the memory.

Though I’m hundreds of miles away from my family – Family Day at the High made Thanksgiving a wonderful holiday this year.

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