Art has been a commercial endeavor for a long time. Just look at Picasso’s millions and the work of the Bauhaus school of design for proof of that. Or check out Andy Warhol. Art can be commercial, but can commercials be considered art? Branka Bogdanov, the director of the ICA’s film program, thinks so.
“This is one of the reasons I decided to put these two in our film program at the ICA,” she says of the screenings of British and American commercials. “They are so much more, because they really honor the areas of collaborative filmmaking. It can be compared to Oscar honors.”
Oscar honors? Absolutely, says Bogdanov.
“Here there are awards for cinematography, direction, animation, performance. They are amazing, innovative, and beautifully crafted, and they reflect the major social concerns, like pop culture, consumer culture. They really are a witness of our times. They are also fun to watch.”
Ads are often a first step for actors: Brad Pitt? Levi’s ad. For film directors, too: Ridley Scott (“Blade Runner”) and his brother Tony Scott (“Top Gun”) initially expanded their careers via commercial backgrounds.
“So many young directors are going through the same trajectory,” says Bogdanov. “All that is in art and filmmaking is condensed into two minutes in a commercial. That’s why it can be so effective.”
The Art and Technique of the American Commercial
Sunday, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, 4 p.m.
Sunday, 3:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art
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