Charles Atlas, the pioneering filmmaker and video artist, is 69 and has never been busier. “I can barely keep up,” he said in a recent interview. “Unfortunately, I never leave the house.”
That’s a strange predicament for a man, long inspired by New York night life, to find himself in. Mr. Atlas, who was born in St. Louis, arrived in New York in 1969 and rented a room in the East Village. “I’d never seen street life before,” he said. “I’d never seen a cockroach. I didn’t know anyone in New York.”
He soon found work — notably with the choreographer Merce Cunningham, in whose company he was the filmmaker-in-residence — and made friends. This weekend and next, several of them will share the stage at the Kitchen with Mr. Atlas in his collaborative evening of dance and film. “The Kitchen Follies,” a variety show, is presented in conjunction with his multimedia gallery exhibition, “the past is here, the futures are coming.”
On the Kitchen’s second floor, Mr. Atlas has created two video installations: “2003,” featuring video portraits of New York artists shot that year; and “The Years,” a large-scale, multichannel video project that shows scrolling footage of his work over time.
“The Kitchen Follies,” inspired by the performance art and club scene on the Lower East Side during the ’80s, will bring some of those faces to life. For the program, Mr. Atlas is working with several artists he has chosen — including Dancenoise, the feminist performance duo of Anne Iobst and Lucy Sexton — each of whom will present 10-minute performances.
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