Film Travelogue

Art world comes home with new documentary featuring Carter Museum exhibition

Art world comes home with new documentary featuring Carter exhibition

The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion
The documentary The Perilous Adventures of Mark Dion will debut on KERA. Photo courtesy of Amon Carter Museum of American Art

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic forced the temporary closure of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, but art aficionados will get a taste of one of the exhibitions that was on view at the museum when local PBS station KERA (Channel 13) airs Erik Clapp’s documentary, The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion.

The film, which premieres at 7 pm Tuesday, April 21, was commissioned by the Carter alongside the exhibition of the same name, which opened on February 8 and was to have run through May 17.

Clapp’s 58-minute documentary serves as a travelogue for the exhibition, following artist Mark Dion as he retraces the footsteps of four 19th-century artist-explorers in Texas to create the exhibition. Those four explorers include artist and ornithologist John James Audubon, watercolorist Sarah Ann Lillie Hardinge, architect Frederick Law Olmsted, and botanist Charles Wright. 

The film chronicles Dion's travels to different regions of Texas as he created a sculptural inventory of found items to form his large-scale installation uniting the present and past of artistic exploration. Dion collected materials to form a site-specific immersive exhibition, which was coupled with works on paper, paintings, and archival materials from the Carter’s collection.

In addition to the April 21 debut, KERA will re-air the documentary at 11 pm Friday, April 24, 4 am Sunday, April 26, and 3 am Tuesday, April 28.

The film will be available nationwide beginning in May, on Amazon Prime.

For more artistic endeavors to enjoy from home, The Carter has introduced a new video series inspired by the museum’s collection and history, titled Cooped Up with the Carter. In the series, museum staff members and community partners explore artwork from the Carter’s collection and lead creative activities made from materials that people have lying around their house.

They also have off-shoot segments like Cooped Up with the Carter: In the Kitchen, where Carter staff present homemade recipes that take art inspiration to a whole new level, and Cooped Up with the Carter: Exhibition Tour, in which viewers can get their own personal tour of special exhibitions from Carter curators.