John Waters to flood the Walker this summer


This summer, gleefully trashy filmmaker, author, and auteur John Waters (Hairspray, Pecker, Pink Flamingos), will try his hand at curating at the Walker Art Center. Expanding on the museum's ever-shifting "Event Horizon," a morphing exhibition featuring pieces from the permanent collection, Waters will rearrange layouts, banish art into storage, and add to the collection in a show titled "Absentee Landlord."

[jump] The exhibit's name references the approach that Waters will be taking to his curation: If the galleries of the Walker are merely compartments in a large apartment complex, how do pieces get along as neighbors? According to Waters, this relationship can range from supportive to antagonistic to sexual. "Can artwork sexually attract each other?" He muses in a recently released press release. "Does minimalism make pop horny? Does pornography elevated to high art lose its erotic power?" New juxtapositions will be explored, and the resulting dynamics should bring a spark to familiar pieces.

While Waters is in town he will also be treating Minnesotans to a performance of This Filthy World, a monologue/lecture celebrating the filmmaker's long and adventurous career, his early influences, and the beauty behind debauched lives and unabashed bad taste. Dubbed "The Pope of Trash" by William Burroughs, Waters is hardly new to the modern art world; he has been exhibiting his own photography-based installations internationally for the past 20 years. Some of his pieces will be added to the show. "Can I, the new landlord, be dictatorial enough to include a small number of my own works in the show if it makes a few members of the permanent collection blush or feel over-privileged?" We say yes.   

"The Absentee Landlord" opens June 11 and will run through March 4, 2012. Tickets to This Filthy World go on sale in May. For more information, visit the Walker's website.