August 29, 2016
John Waters’ Kiddie Flamingo’s Makes Museum Debut at the BMA
The 72-minute video will be on shown on continuous loop in the Black Box Gallery
BALTIMORE, MD (August 25, 2016)—The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) presents Black Box: John Waters’ Kiddie Flamingos, on view September 21, 2016 through January 22, 2017. For the 2014 video, Waters filmed children reading a G-rated version of the cult classic, Pink Flamingos, and has said this new version is in some ways more perverse than the original. The presentation of the film is organized by Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman and presented in the Black Box Gallery in the museum’s contemporary wing.
Waters’ notorious Pink Flamingos—promoted as an “exercise in bad taste”—premiered in 1972 at the third annual Baltimore Film Festival. The film follows an outrageous competition for the title of “Filthiest People Alive,” which unfolds in a trailer in Phoenix, MD and at other sites throughout Baltimore City. Today, Pink Flamingos is internationally celebrated as a pioneering example of underground filmmaking.
“Wearing disheveled wigs, the Baltimore-based amateur cast of Kiddie Flamingos vividly evokes the
performances of Divine, Mink Stole, Edith Massey, and the other unforgettably eccentric actors of Waters’ earlier film,” said Kristen Hileman, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. “At the same time, the children display their own sincerity and delight as they make their way through a deeply unconventional narrative.”
Waters’ distinctive voice delivers stage directions off camera while the children earnestly perform their roles. Those who have seen the original film will recognize that, though purged of its obscenity, the new script artfully alludes to the indelible scenes that make scandalous to this day.
In fall 2018, Kiddie Flamingos will be featured again at the BMA as part of a major retrospective of Waters’ visual arts career organized by the museum.
Over a career spanning four decades, Baltimore-based John Water’s (b. 1946) has been a film director, screenwriter, actor, journalist, and visual artist. His photography, sculptures, and installations are subject to the same satirical vision Waters brings to his films, as he often re-edits and re-contextualizes iconic film imagery in a hilarious questioning of popular culture and conventions. Themes and motifs of provocation—race, sex, gender, consumerism,
and religion—are unapologetically central to his practice, and presented with a brand of wit and cynicism that is uniquely John Waters
About the Baltimore Museum of Art
Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 97,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.