It is among the most indelible images of Cold War-era film: Slim Pickens, as Major "King" Kong, riding an atom bomb to extinction, cowboy hat waving in the wind.
The scene is from Stanley Kubrick's pitch-black political satire Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), which tells the story of an unhinged United States Air Force general who orders a first-strike nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.
Yet Pickens' iconic pose finds a contemporary echo in a recent multimedia work by conceptual artist Cosima von Bonin, titled MISSY MISDEMEANOR #02 [THE BEIGE VOMITING CHICK, MISS RILEY (LOOP #02, 2006), MVO’S VOODOO BEAT & MOV’S ROCKET BLAST BEAT].
Consisting of a large stuffed chick saddling a 36-foot long fiberglass rocket, MISSY MISDEMEANOUR is the centerpiece of the exhibition Cosima von Bonin: Character Appropriation, now on view at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Kemper Art Museum will host a free outdoor screening of Dr. Strangelove at 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 17, in its east parking lot. Popcorn will be provided, though viewers should bring their own seating. Rain location will be Steinberg Auditorium.
Preceding the screening, at 7 p.m., will be a gallery talk by exhibition curator Meredith Malone. The talk will explore von Bonin's work and its wide-ranging artistic vocabulary, which encompasses her own biography and the work of other artists as well as film, electronic music, cartoon characters, and luxury lifestyle branding.
Cosima von Bonin: Character Appropriation is the first solo museum exhibition in the American Midwest for the artist, who lives and works in Cologne, Germany. Inspired by Rockstars (Character Appropriation) (2003), an early example of von Bonin's signature textile "paintings" in the permanent collection of the Kemper Art Museum, the exhibition surveys the last decade of her career and remains on view through Monday, Aug. 1.
Image caption: Installation view of MISSY MISDEMEANOR #02 [THE BEIGE VOMITING CHICK, MISS RILEY (LOOP #02, 2006), MVO'S VOODOO BEAT & MOV’S ROCKET BLAST BEAT], a 2011 work by Cosima von Bonin, at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. Photo by Whitney Curtis.