Local filmmakers prepare to wreck their own work

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Friday, “Destroy Your Art” takes place on August 25, 8 p.m. (doors, 7:30 p.m.) at Lost Arts, 1001 N Branch St.

The thrill of performance and the beauty of film will leave a lasting impression — and nothing more — for those who witness the Destroy Your Art event in the Lost Arts design studio on Goose Island next week.

Described in a press release as, “a wholly unique conceit from Chicago creative entrepreneur Rebecca Fons and filmmaker Jack C. Newell,” the evening will combine independent films and select “tools of destruction” as multiple artists present and destroy their work in a series of one-two-punches.

Fons, who spent nearly a decade as education director at Cinema/Chicago, says that she and Newell have been “playing with” for a while.

“We wanted to explore the permanence of film as well as the impermanence of a particular audience experience,” she explains. “What changes when you’re watching a film you know you’ll never be able to see again?”

Fons’ jones for wrecking certain things is matched by a passion for preserving others. She is widely acknowledged as the driving force behind the rehab and reopening of The Iowa Theater in John Wayne’s hometown of Winterset, IA.

Rebecca Fons and Jack C. Newell, partners in destruction

Her real life husband and partner in destruction, Jack C. Newell, is the creator/founder of The Wabash Lights, a colorful span of neon affixed to the bottom of the El tracks over South Wabash Ave.

Although the popular outdoor concept may be on its way to becoming “the biggest piece of public art in Chicago’s history,” Newell has no similar expectations for the work to be presented next weekend.

And that, in a certain way, makes it all the more fun.

“By their very nature, these aren’t films that will show up on professional reels,” he says. “There’s a freedom in that.”

The lineup so far includes Chicago-based filmmakers Lonnie Edwards (A Ferguson Story), Nick Alonzo (Shitcago) and Aemilia Scott (Shot). Complimentary beer will be provided by Baderbräu.

Friday, August 25, 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.) | Lost Arts, 1001 N Branch St. For more information, click here.

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