If you were lucky and in Kansas City last Friday night, you were watching a special screening of Boy, the first feature film produced by Cody Critcheloe and SSION. I want to describe SSION as a sort of contemporary art factory in the Midwest with Critcheloe playing the Andy Warhol part; but in truth the atmosphere of this project feels far more collective, its content is profoundly collaborative. I don’t have an insider’s knowledge of the process, but the appearance suggests that Critcheloe is directing a vast ensemble of talented artists who actively shape the piece, as actors, musicians, designers, performers, visual artists.
The obsession of Boy is celebrity. The way this obsession manifests contains a critique, but that critique is always an embrace. You know how the word “glamour” etymologically preserves notions of magic and enchantment? It’s as if the enchantment of fame and the limitless fun that’s part of fame’s pitch are privileged here over the gloomy and g... More