Each year, the Halsey Institute screens independent films often in conjunction with the exhibition on view. The films’ content varies greatly, but the events always have the same focus, to bring independent film and filmmakers to Charleston for stimulating conversation and to serve as a meeting place for community members, no matter their interests. Discover the value and magic of independent films!

FILM PREMIERE | ALBATROSS: A love story for our time from the heart of the Pacific
Wednesday, October 25, 7:00pm
Charleston Music Hall, 37 John Street

A film by Chris Jordan

A documentary film by Chris Jordan, ALBATROSS will have its theatrical premiere in Charleston in conjunction with Jordan’s exhibition Midway at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. In the film, Jordan presents his trips to Midway Atoll, an island chain in the Pacific Ocean that receives very little human contact. Despite its isolation from the rest of the world, Midway sits amid the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a swirling vortex of plastic waste carried via currents from all around the world.

Jordan’s film gives viewers an intimate look into the lives of the native Laysan albatrosses and how their existence is threatened by the plastic-waste habits of the rest of the world.

This film will be shown at the Charleston Music Hall, located at 37 John Street. It is free and open to the public.

Don’t miss Chris Jordan’s public lecture the night before, Tuesday, October 24, 7:00pm at the Sottile Theatre at the College of Charleston.

Trailer for the film ALBATROSS

Chris Jordan’s ALBATROSS film trailer from chris jordan photographic arts on Vimeo.

ART/new york Film Screening and Q & A with director Paul Tschinkel
Wednesday, September 6 | 7:00pm
Recital Hall, Simons Center for the Arts

Since the 1979, artist and filmmaker Paul Tschinkel has documented key players and happenings in the New York art world. His series, ART/new york, continues today, presenting in-depth interviews with artists and keen insights into their works. Among the artists he’s interviewed are Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, and Robert Colescott.

Tschinkel has been an early adopter of video as a medium. In 1974, he started broadcasting a weekly television show on New York City cable called “Paul Tschinkel’s Inner-Tube.” For several years, this program featured collaborations with other artists in New York, conceptual programming, and documented exhibitions and other events in New Yorks burgeoning punk scene. Tschinkel received an MFA in painting from Yale School of Art.

For this screening, Tschinkel will present two early programs on well-known artists Louise Bourgeois and Kiki Smith with a Q&A to follow.

Number 27: Louise Bourgeois (1987)









On this program you’ll see the sensual and provocative work of Louise Bourgeois. Bourgeois, a member of the New York art world since the early 1950s, produces sculpture which is highly charged in content as well as eerily beautiful in form. Also seen are two of her environments; a lair installed at the Robert Miller Gallery and a work in progress on Staten Island, New York. In a lengthy interview, the artist discusses her work and passion, her philosophy of art and her development as an artist. The interview is conducted by critic Stuart Morgan and text is by Robert Storr, curator of contemporary art at the Museum of Modern Art.


Number 40: Kiki Smith (1994)









This program covers the art of one of the most innovative and unusual artists working today. Seen are Kiki Smith’s 1992 and 1993 shows at the Fawbush Gallery in New York City in which she exhibits her visceral, powerful and thought provoking work. Included is an interview with Kiki Smith. In her Lower East Side studio, she talks at length about her inspiration, her ideas and the making of her work. Also included are brief interviews with her dealers, Joe Fawbush and Thomas Jones and with Claudia Gould, director of Artists Space in New York City.

For more information on Paul Tschinkel’s ART/new yorkhttp://artnewyork.org/

Thursday, October 13, 2016, 8 PM
Halsey Institute galleries

Q&A with co-director Dan Rybicky following the screening

“A quietly spectacular exploration of aging, outsider art, and cats.”
—Sam Adams, Indiewire/Criticwire

For many, Peter Anton’s house embodies an end-of-life nightmare: the utility companies long ago shut off the heat and electricity, the floorboards are rotting, and the detritus of a chaotic life is precariously stacked to the ceiling. But for the filmmakers Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden, Anton’s home is a treasure trove, a startling collection of unseen and fascinating paintings, drawings, and notebooks, not to mention Anton himself, a character worthy of his own reality TV show. Though aging, infirm, cranky, and solitary, Anton is also funny and utterly resilient. Rybicky and Wickenden’s remarkable journey follows a gifted artist through startling twists and turns. By its quietly satisfying ending, Almost There has provided enough human drama for a season of soap operas, plus insights into mental illness, aging in America, and the redemptive power of art.

Find more information about the film here: www.almostthereproject.com


A Poem is a Naked Person: Leon Russell Film
Wednesday, February 24, 7:30pm
Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St.

The Halsey Institute & the Charleston Music Hall Film Series proudly presents: A Poem is a Naked Person: Leon Russell Film.

$10 Individual | $8 Students | $6 Leon Russell Concert Ticket Holders

Bar Opens: 6:30 PM | Film Starts: 7:30 PM
Run Time: 90 Minutes
Tickets Can Be Purchased:
Music Hall Box Office: 37 John Street (843-853-2252)
Etix Hotline: 1-800-514-3849


An ineffable mix of unbridled joy and vérité realism, A Poem Is a Naked Person presents the beloved singer-songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Leon Russell as filmed by documentarian Les Blank between 1972 and 1974. Blank’s camera lets us into the world of Russell and his friends and fellow artists in and around his recording studio in northeast Oklahoma, capturing intimate, off-the-cuff moments and combining them with mesmerizing scenes of Russell and his band performing live. This singular film about an artist and his community never got an official theatrical release and has attained legendary status. Now, after more than forty years, it can finally be seen and heard in all its rough beauty.


A Poem Is A Naked Person Trailer from Criterion Collection on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 31, 8PM
Auditorium, School of Sciences and Mathematics, 202 Calhoun St.

The documentary EARTHCASTER explores the work of artist Thomas Sayre, whose art-making process blends art and science, and joins the natural and man-made in a sometimes dangerous dance of gravity and grace. Bringing Sayre’s massive sculptures out of the earth is always collaborative, involving whole communities and many individuals who may not otherwise meet.
The art-making process begins with thoughtful conversations among citizens and elected officials about the work they aim to commission and the messages to be conveyed. This experience of give and take flies in the face of the stereotype of the artist as lone maverick or misanthrope. Indeed, when Sayre is most successful, the pleasure of creation is broadly shared and relationships endure.

Q&A with film producers Georgann Eubanks & Donna Campbell and popcorn from Butcher & Bee
Free admission

EARTHCASTER Trailer-HD from Halsey Institute on Vimeo.

Community Partners 2017