A Night with Underground Imagist Filmmaker Tom Palazzolo
For fifty years, Tom Palazzolo has chronicled the overlooked events and rituals that unfold across Chicago’s neighborhoods. Join him for a sampling of films from across his career: O (1967), a surreal trip through the Chicago of the mind; The Tattooed Lady of Riverview Park (1967), about the featured attraction at the Riverview Park freak show; Jerry’s Deli (1970), which serves customer abuse and corned beef; Love It/Leave It (1973), a collage of street protest, cars, and nudity; and Down Clark St. (1995), a look at forgotten characters from Chicago’s past.
Post-screening Q&A moderated by Jim Dempsey, co-curator of the Smart Museum's Monster Roster exhibition.
The Tattooed Lady of Riverview Park (1967, 16mm, 15 min.). The featured attraction of the freak show at the once landmark Riverview Amusement Park is an elderly lady with over 200 tattoos. Her story is interwoven with images of the ill-fated park.
O (1967, 16mm, 12 min.). A surreal trip through the Chicago of the mind, filed with twists, turns and darkness.
Jerry's Deli (1970, 16mm, 10 min.). A trip to Jerry’s Deli, where abuse of customers is served up with corned beef.
Love It/Leave It (1973, Blu-ray, 14 min.). A collage of street protest from the 1968 convention, along with a car show and the miss nude universe contest.
Down Clark St. (1995, DVD, 25 min.). This film chronicles a time past and a compassionate and sometimes humorous look at the forgotten characters that populated Clark Street in the 1960s.
(USA, 1967–1995, 16mm/DVD/Blu-ray, 77 min.)
Since the mid-1960s, Tom Palazzolo has produced more than fifty films that explore the complex, multi-faceted, and often overlooked events and rituals that unfold across Chicago’s neighborhoods. Palazzolo honed his style at the School of the Art Institute studying and working with visual artists associated with the Monster Roster as well as prominent Chicago Imagists. He taught at Chicago City Colleges from 1966 to 2002 and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1976 to 1990. His films have shown at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Gene Siskel Film Center, and many other venues. In addition to his filmmaking, he is an exhibiting painter and photographer.
Jim Dempsey is co-curator of the exhibition Monster Roster: Existentialist Art in Postwar Chicago currently on view at the Smart Museum. Dempsey and John Corbett are co-owners/co-founders of Corbett vs. Dempsey gallery in Chicago and they have also curated numerous independent projects together, including Dominick Di Meo: Visionary Garden (2013) at DePaul University Art Museum; Painthing on the Möve: Albert Oehlen / Chicago Imagists (2011) at the Thomas Dane Gallery in London; and Big Picture: A New View of Painting in Chicago (2007) at the Chicago History Museum. For over 20 years, Dempsey was the house manager and occasional programmer at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. He received his B.F.A from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
This screening is part of the Smart Museum of Art’s exhibition Monster Roster: Existentialist Art in Postwar Chicago, running February 11 through June 12, 2016.