On Friday at dusk, Marfa Live Arts, Bill Daniel and The Lumberyard present MOTORIST, a movie by Chip Lord featuring Jo Harvey Allen. MOTORIST follows the driver of a 1962 Thunderbird as he crosses the Southwest to deliver the classic car to be sold in Los Angeles to a Japanese collector. The video is a travelogue/essay on the automobile as the symbol and vehicle of American freedom and identity.
Echoing this trip in 2016, is artist/filmmaker Bill Daniel as he drives his classic 1965 Chevy Van from Houston to sell in Los Angeles. Along his trip west, following the route of Lord’s driver/protagonist, Daniel’s 1965 van will be used as an outdoor projection site for screenings of MOTORIST.
Daniel has owed and driven his 1965 Chevy on multiple cross-country exhibition tours since 1992. The van has functioned as a mobile installation piece, a graffiti wall, a home, and an icon in much of Daniel’s art. In deciding to sell the van it was appealing to bring the van back to it’s original home in California, and the parallel between this trip and the narrative in Chip Lord’s video MOTORIST came to mind. It became apparent to Daniel that this last trip in the Orange Van would need to be an exhibition tour as well. MOTORIST will be projected from Daniel’s van at various outdoor sites between Houston and Los Angeles, in San Antonio, Albuquerque, Tucson, Slab City, The Lumberyard in Marfa and other spots as yet unknown…
Since Chip Lord’s early days in Ant Farm, an avant-garde architecture, graphic arts and environmental design practice founded by Lord and Doug Michels in San Francisco in 1968, Lord’s evocation of the automobile has been as an avatar, as the spirit of America—that consummate combination of superior organized corporate technology and the pioneering triumph of the willful individual driver.
MOTORIST is a 69-minute road picture in which the camera rides shotgun with actor Richard Marcus as he plays a drifting driver. Intercutting scenes of Marcus with clips of industrial films and commercials of the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. MOTORIST pinpoints the patriotic heroics and futuristic fantasies of Ford and General Motors, unleashing the pure romanticism of American automophilia at its most ecstatic heights. MOTORIST features music by Terry Allen, and will begin at 7:42pm at The Lumberyard in Marfa.
The event is free and open to the public, donations for Daniel’s roadtrip west are appreciated. For more information see www.marfalivearts.org