. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

Andy Warhol’s Batman Dracula

Posted by | otaper | Posted on | November 3, 2022

Thursday, November 03, 6:00 p.m.

Join Bruce Jenkins, SAIC professor and co-author of The Films of Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné: 1963-1965, and Greg Pierce, director of Film and Video at The Andy Warhol Museum, for this rare screening of Warhol’s revelatory BATMAN DRACULA project. Presented in conjunction with the SAIC Faculty Sabbatical Triennial exhibition, on view at SAIC Galleries.

Dracula bites the neck of a shirtless black man

Andy Warhol, Batman Dracula, 1964, unfinished. Courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum

Andy Warhol was an extraordinarily prolific filmmaker, making hundreds of screen tests and dozens of feature-length films in the mid-to-late 1960s. With recent restoration projects and the publication of The Films of Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné: 1963-1965, the full scope of his cinematic project is just now coming to light. Among the revelations is the unfinished–and virtually unseen–BATMAN DRACULA, an ambitious feature project Warhol shot with legendary performer Jack Smith in 1964. Loosely assembled onto two reels, the film is a fascinating departure from his other projects of the time, involving multiple shooting locations, elaborate sets and costumes, a narrative with intertwining plotlines, and a title character that veers from Gothic demon to free-spirited vagabond. For this special presentation, SAIC Professor Bruce Jenkins, co-author of the Catalogue Raisonné, and Greg Pierce, director of Film and Video at The Andy Warhol Museum, present an extended excerpt from the project, along with stills and period anecdotes, contextualizing it both within Warhol’s overall body of work and recent preservation efforts.

Andy Warhol, 1964, USA, ca 60 minutes plus discussion
16mm film on digital
In English



Bruce Jenkins is professor of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to coming to SAIC, he was Stanley Cavell Curator at the Harvard Film Archive. Jenkins previously served as curator of Film/Video at the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), where he collaborated on exhibitions devoted to Chantal Akerman, Marcel Broodthaers, Bruce Conner, Chris Marker, William Klein, and the Fluxus group. He has written exhibition catalog essays for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; the Renaissance Society, Chicago; Museo Reina Sofía; the Guggenheim Museum; and the Wexner Center, among others. His critical writings have appeared in Artforum, October, Mousse Magazine, and Millennium Film Journal. He has authored a book-length study on the work of Gordon Matta-Clark; edited a volume of writings by Hollis Frampton; and written the principal essays for monographic publications on Michael Snow, Matt Saunders, and Basim Magdy. His most recent project is as principal co-author of The Films of Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné: 1963–1965 (2021).

Greg Pierce is director of Film and Video at the Andy Warhol Museum, where he has worked since April 1994. He has worked as an instructor, projectionist, assistant operations manager, and technical coordinator at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Chicago Filmmakers, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. At The Warhol, his exhibitions include Neke Carson: Eyeball Portraits and Beyond + Neke Paints Andy ’72 (2008), SuperTrash (curated with Jacques Boyreau, 2009), and I Just Want to Watch: Andy Warhol’s Film, Video, and Television (curated with Geralyn Huxley, 2010). He designed the museum’s Screen Test Machine, which has been in constant use since it launched in the summer of 2012. His evocation in gallery form of Warhol’s multi-media event Exploding Plastic Inevitable has been seen in museums around the world. His writing on Warhol has appeared in exhibition catalogs for the Stedelijk Museum and the Montreal Museum, as well as The Warhol. Pierce is the custodian of The Orgone Archive (ex-Orgone Cinema), a proudly fringe, regional motion picture archive and screening outfit based in Pittsburgh that he co-founded in 1993 along with two other film artists/advocates. The archive holds over 10,000 unique and neglected regular 8, super 8, and 16mm films. He is also the drummer of the experimental pop quartet Her Suit and soon to be the ex-lead guitarist in his daughter’s band Merce Lemon.