While riding freight trains and compiling oral histories from fellow riders and railroad workers he met along the way, Bill Daniel documented a phenomenon of monikers and mark-making once practiced extensively throughout the United States by people living and working on and around trains. The film Who is Boxo Texino? arose from Daniel’s fascination with a reoccurring signature—“Bozo Texino” accompanied by a cowboy with an infinity-sign hat and a cigarette. Daniel utilizes storytelling, mythmaking, and folklore to express themes of wanderlust, the formation of identity and community, and the success and failure of commodified labor.
Bill Daniel, Who is Bozo Texino?, 2005; 16mm film; 56 minutes.
Our sense of self is rooted in belonging. Belonging encompasses where we come from, where we currently are, and where we are going. Given the inherently narrative structure of belonging, it can best be considered through a time-based medium, such as film. This film series examines belonging broadly, as well as what happens when our sense of belonging is uprooted.
Who Is Bozo Texino? explores the origin story of a graffiti character found on freight train boxcars across the United States. The film’s director, Bill Daniel, ties the search for Bozo Texino’s origins to his own history as a rail rider.
Ailbhe Ní Bhriain’s Inscriptions of an Immense Theatre examines belonging as a story told through objects, with a critical eye to how narratives offered by museums can gloss over, obscure, and even destroy certain histories.
EDM House is built upon dichotomies. As a film of animated Christmas lights, it subverts expectations through syncing the twinkling dance to an electronic dance music track written by the artist, Kevin Schmidt. Schmidt shoots the house’s performance from various camera angles to compile the film, leading to the question of whether the house exists for the film alone, or if it exists as a destination experience that we can presumably visit.
This exhibition is supported by the Kohler Trust for Arts and Education, the Frederic Cornell Kohler Charitable Trust, Kohler Foundation, Inc., Herzfeld Foundation, and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.