March 31, 2010

Five Questions: Steve Anker

Five questions to SFMOMA artists, staff, or guests. Steve Anker is the Dean of the School of Film/Video at CAL ARTS and the curator of three programs in the 75 Years in the Dark film series: Material and Illusion, Bush Mama and tomorrow’s screening of Chris Marker’s Le joli mai.  He lives between San Francisco and Northern Los Angeles.

Steve Anker in the Wattis Theater.

Do you collect anything?

I collect films, a small amount. I collect comic and graphic novels. All of them, all over the map, ranging from early even pre-20th century newspaper comics to underground comics to comic books of all kinds to contemporary graphic novels of all genres. And I collect various kinds of music, CDs and vinyl.

There’s the generic interview question that goes, “If you could invite anyone to dinner who would it be.” What I want to know is, what would you eat?

I would eat Cornish game hen. I don’t know why that sprang to mind.

If you could steal any artwork in the world to have up in your home, what would it be?

A painting by Vermeer. I love looking at the magical quality of light in his paining. The other one would be a late Mark Rothko.

Other than your phone or keys, what do you always carry with you?

I carry a tin of Altoid chewing gum. I do a lot of speaking and meetings.

What should I be asking you?

How I think about my roles in the world. I see myself at this point as a curator, a writer, a program creator both for schools and for exhibition, and I think of myself as an educator and finally as an administrator. I have a long term relationship that I hold in the highest regard and I have family relationships—brothers, mother, cousins—that I take very seriously. So, those are my personal roles. I also play classical piano. And working out at a gym; I’ve been doing that on a regular basis for a couple of months.

The film series 75 Years in the Dark continues through May with screenings from SFMOMA’s film history.

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