After a successful opening in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, first-time filmmaker Mark Bozek was gearing up to roll out his documentary on legendary late photographer Bill Cunningham nationwide in March 2020. Then the pandemic struck and the rollout never happened.
Now, Bozek is giving his documentary new life through an immersive exhibition, “Experience the Times of Bill Cunningham,” which will be on display at The Seaport in New York City for eight weeks from Sept. 12, coinciding with New York Fashion Week.
“Rather than just having the film just become a nice credit or something at the bottom of an algorithm on a streaming video service I decided to take the rights back and figure out a way to keep it in the zeitgeist, if you will, of the fashion world. So I came up with this idea for this experience,” Bozek told WWD.
“I wanted to make something that was all about how Bill lived his whole life, which was discovery and discovering of new things, new talent, new ideas, new people and new locations.”
Set over two stories in a former Abercrombie & Fitch flagship, the exhibition will feature large-scale reproductions of Cunningham’s most iconic photos, video and audio interviews, as well as artifacts like Cunningham’s iconic Biria bicycle and his trademark blue French worker’s jackets.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to pose on a simulated city crosswalk where Cunningham took many of his photographs, or take a seat on a bench made of milk crates and a foam mattress; a nod to the photographer’s bed in his Carnegie Hall studio apartment. Elsewhere, there will be a staircase where guests’ outfits will be digitally transformed.
“This is different and it’s unique and it’s so much about what Bill was all about and that relentless curiosity of discovery of things that have never been done before,” added Bozek. “As we get closer and closer to the opening of it I’m incredibly excited.”
The documentary, “The Times of Bill Cunningham,” will be released simultaneously on a global basis through Bozek’s new company Live Rocket.
Cunningham photographed everyday people, as well as celebrities such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Anna Wintour, and Andy Warhol on the streets of Manhattan, as well as at fashion shows and society events, for more than six decades.
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