Tonight at Renwick Gallery, artist and filmmaker Meredith Danluck will debut a new photo series, "Drinkability." Amassed over the past two years, Danluck's images investigate the myths, realities, and associations that coalesce (and often contradict, or even clash) to form an image of the American West as it exists in our collective conscious. After attending a Professional Bull Riders (PBR) even in Nashville, Danluck became fascinated with what is perhaps the most enduring icon of the American West: the cowboy.
In "The Ride," her first feature-length documentary, which screens privately this weekend at MoMA as part of the museum's PopRally series, Danluck's photographs come to life in the storied lives of the PBR community. Danluck described her fascination with this vastly under-explored subculture in a recent conversation with Interview magazine: "The idea of the cowboy as a mythical character in the American psyche is so strong, it was just such good subject matter-but beyond that, it was so different than what I had expected from it. I went and all of a sudden there were pyrotechnics and million-dollar checks being given out. It was as if the old America had collided with a new America and spat out this Western spectacle."
"Drinkability" opens this evening from 6–8 pm at Renwick Gallery, 45 Renwick Street, New York, NY. "The Ride" screens on Sunday, May 31st, at 8 pm at MoMA's Titus Theater 1, 11 West 53rd Street. Prior to the screening, the Museum will host a private view of Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West, curated by Eva Respini, beginning at 7 PM. A Q&A with the Danluck follows the screening.