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June 10th, 2024 | 7:30 show

Westermann: Memorial to the Idea of Man If He Was an Idea is a documentary film about the life and work of artist, marine, and acrobat H.C. (Cliff) Westermann. As a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Westermann’s dramatic personal history can be traced through beguiling, surreal artworks he made to process the horrors he witnessed on the front lines. In so doing, he became an inspiration for many young artists. The film reveals how Westermann protected his empathic spirit – and sanity – by ‘sculpting’ his body, artworks, friendships, his hand-hewn house, and his art-filled letters to his dearest friends and family.

Trailer - Westermann: Memorial to the Idea of Man If He Was an Idea from Pentimenti Productions on Vimeo.

The film explores themes of resiliency, hope, and humor with a script culled from over a thousand of Westermann’s letters and audio interviews – voiced by four-time Academy-Award nominee Ed Harris. The film was conceived and directed by Leslie Buchbinder, featuring interviews with Ed Ruscha, Frank Gehry, William T. Wiley, Billy Al Bengston, and other artist-pals, along with his beloved sister, Martha Westermann Renner. The film is executive produced by the internationally acclaimed artist, KAWS, along with award-winning documentary producer Caryn Capotosto, whose prior projects include Won’t You Be My Neighbor and Little Richard: I Am Everything. Westermann features music by legendary artists Laurie Anderson (with the Kronos Quartet); Terry Allen; and Tomeka Reid, MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner, composed the original score.