Exhibitions , San Francisco

Martha Colburn, Wanderlust West: The Biographer and the Burglar

Wanderlust West: The Biographer and the Burglar
Live documentary performance and exhibition by Martha Colburn

With live dobro accompaniment by Thad Povey
Wednesday, July 25, Bar 6pm, Event 7pm
With related works on view through August 11

In this “live documentary” performance at KADIST, Colburn expands on Western Wild…how I found wanderlust and met Old Shatterhand (2017), a densely textured, mixed genre film about an American artist constructing a new work about famed German author Karl May. Fusing stories about her own life growing up in the “wilds” of Pennsylvania with material about her ostensible subject—including footage shot at Karl May re-enactment days in Germany and spaghetti western clips—Wanderlust West creates a synchronized narrative of disparate lives at home in the same world, as travelers in a state of “Wanderlust.” This debut west coast performance is a personal meditation on violence and fantasy against the backdrop of difficult and contested historical narratives, especially the continued appropriation of Native American stereotypes across Europe. A concurrent exhibition presents materials related to Western Wild…, including the original moving image work, a selection of paintings on canvas, animation props, and additional films.

Karl May (1842–1912, Hohenstein-Ernstthal) was one of Germany’s best selling authors, a skilled con man, and thief. He spent eight years in and out of jail for petty crimes, during which he sketchec the foundation for his adventure novels set predominantly in the American West.

Martha Colburn (b. 1972, Pennsylvania) is an artist based in Amsterdam. Her films have screened in the Venice Biennale, Stedelijk Museum, Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, the Rotterdam International Festival, and the Museum of Modern Art (NY). She is a 2015 recipient of the Creative Capital Award.