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Laura Parnes to appear at the Wexner Center

Laura Parnes’ film “Tour Without End” will be presented at the Wexner Center on Thursday. Credit: Courtesy of Melissa Starker

The Wexner Center for the Arts will welcome another major filmmaker to Ohio State’s campus.

Laura Parnes will present her film, “Tour Without End,” at the Wexner Center at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The film follows a fictional band on tour as it maneuvers through New York during a period of increasing gentrification.

“It’s a film that’s both humorous and serious, and casts real-life artists, musicians and actors as bands on tour, and becomes an intergenerational piece that explores what it’s like to live in the Trump era,” Parnes said.

The film is a “time capsule” of the do-it-yourself music scene in New York, with a focus toward the present day with rapid gentrification and places closing, Parnes said.

“It really captures a moment in time,” Parnes said.

Chris Stults, associate curator of film and video at the Wexner Center, also stresses the “time capsule” nature of the film and how it mirrors examples of gentrification happening in Columbus. Stults said it feels present tense “kind of a flashback leading up to the last election” and a window into New York underground history that has started disappearing.

“Just thinking back two or three years ago, I can think of some really great DIY art spaces around Columbus that don’t exist anymore,” Stults said.

Parnes describes the film as a way to show that we cannot live in a bubble outside of politics – it is inevitable. Parnes said the conversations sound familiar to intergenerational people, but that it applies primarily to the current time period and that they have to confront what’s happening.

Parnes said she sees this film as being very relatable to students, bringing a comparable factor to campus and Columbus as a whole.

“I think a lot of students will identify with what it is to be in a bubble, but then have to confront the reality, which is like the larger context of our society and what is happening now,” she said.

Stults said this film gets to the heart of what the Wexner Center is all about: variety and  intersection. The center tries to be a multidisciplinary institution with films, exhibitions and performing arts that are “all on an equal plane and in conversation with each other,” Stults said.

“Laura’s film has musicians, painters, filmmakers and artists all intermingling, showing some ways you could have alternative lifestyles in the 21st century,” Stults said.

Stults also said this film is crucial in the act of recording the underground scene while it is still alive as gentrification is killing off the culture quickly and silently.

“It’s good to keep reminders of underground lifestyles present. You don’t often get to see [them] through more conventional films, artworks and news sources,” Stults said. “It’s really important to document some of these moments and cultures while they still exist. It’s not a conducive time for a lot of these things.”

Admission is $6 for students and $8 for the general public.

 

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