For his exhibition at the Renaissance Society, Canadian artist Stan Douglas created a major new video project titled Evening. Based on local Chicago news coverage and production in the late 1960s, Evening explores how national broadcasts of this local news coverage first aided and later distorted the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago. Evening reconstructs the srategic evolution of three fictionalized Chicago television stations as they struggle with the social unrest of the late 1960s, as well as the introduction of the “Happy Talk” news format in 1970, in which all news, no matter how grim, was presented by a cheerful and smiling reporter. Underlying the turmoil in the streets is a more subtle battle over the mission and objectives of television journalism, before that term became an oxymoron in the 1980s.
Accompanying Evening will be the Chicago premiere of Hors-champs (a French cinematographic term meaning off-camera or out of view), a videotape produced by Douglas for The Centre Pompidou in Paris and first seen as part of Documenta IX.
This exhibition traveled to Institute of Contemporary Art, London, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco.