CALDER’S CIRCUS (1961)
Dir. Carlos Vilardebó
Starring Alexander Calder, Louisa James Calder
Doors 7pm / screening 8pm
+ Circus Marionettes
*** Since this event is part of a fundraiser for the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, tickets are $30 ***
Calder’s Circus is a historical film, by Carlos Vilardebo, of Alexander Calder’s miniature circus — tiny wire performers, ingeniously articulated to walk tightropes, dance, lift weights, and engage in acrobatics in the ring. Resulted from his fascination with the circus in his mid-twenties when he did illustrations for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, this film exudes the great personal charm of Calder himself, moving and working the tiny players like a ringmaster.
Calder’s Circus (1926-31) was created to be performed by the artist and only by the artist himself. Made primarily in Paris, when the young Alexander Calder lived there and during his frequent travels back to New York, Calder performed the Circus for colleagues, friends, artists, critics, collectors, and luminaries from the worlds of theater, art, and literature.
Calder’s Circus is a world unto itself, yet also has important implications for Calder’s breakthrough sculptures. He developed the Circus in the same period he created his open-form wire portraits, wire animal sculptures, and his now iconic mobiles. During this time, movement became Calder’s signature material. In the words of the artist: “Just as one can compose colors, or forms, so one can compose motions.”