"Edifying entertainment" isn't an event description one hears every day, but the Bell may have nailed it with its "Bell Museum Social." The four-part series, in which visitors mingle while examining natural-history-themed artwork by an artist in residence, begins Thursday with Matthew Bakkom's "Some Scientific Expeditions (as recorded by Ned Huff 1906-1945)." Huff was a botany professor at the U of M in the early 1900s. Bakkom dug through the professor's photographs—archival in their historical veracity, romantic in their depictions of past lives—and created a photomontage of 200 images he'll show in the theater. In the diorama halls, Bakkom also replaced text panels with dialogue from the gritty 1947 film-noir classic Out of the Past (imagine Robert Mitchum in a badger suit). Lastly, on the second floor, Bakkom has hung the 28 large-scale prints he created during his residency. Inspired? The event has a DIY component: Paw through the museum's vintage bulletins and pamphlets to assemble your own artwork. Edifying and entertaining, indeed.
Thu., Oct. 28, 6-9 p.m., 2010