To Many Men Strange Fates Are Given

Brent Green
January 25–October 21, 2011

To Many Men Strange Fates Are Given is a trip through a storyland where a woman sews a spacesuit for a Russian dog astronaut and working-class people search for the meaning of their lives as they ride the tidal waves of technological invention. Green’s animation is characterized by familiar elements from this self-taught artist’s previous work—hand-drawn images and wry, off-kilter storytelling—while Green’s poetic narration ultimately becomes a lament for the disenfranchisement of working people then and now. This theme connects to his past protagonists: commonplace people who face toil and hardship, and sometimes, redemption and wonder. Working in residence, Green and collaborators developed an installation consisting of a welded metal frame that holds wooden phonograph horns, multiple planes of polarized glass, and brightly glowing LCD screens that emulate a multiplane camera used in classic animation films. Green often performs his films with live musicians, improvised soundtracks, and live narration in venues ranging from rooftops to art institutions such as the Getty Center, the Walker Art Center, the Hammer Museum, the Wexner Center for the Arts, The Kitchen, and MoMA. He lives and works in the Appalachian hills of Pennsylvania.

Visual Art

August 20, 2012

Production Credits

Commissioned and executive produced by EMPAC; produced by EMPAC, Kathleen Forde, and Donna K.