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Tommy Hartung Is Off and Running
How does an artist find relief from the pressures of the studio? In this film artist Tommy Hartung leaves his Ridgewood, Queens studio and takes an extended run through the streets and woods of the surrounding neighborhoods. As he jogs, Hartung discusses how running is a necessary physical and mental break from the daily challenge of his intensive in-studio filmmaking practice. Hartung’s cramped space—filled with the architectural and figurative models that populate his experimental films—evidences long hours spent working in the studio.
Running along the unpaved footpaths of Forest Park, Hartung draws a connection between the contemplative isolation of jogging and a childhood spent in the woods near his family’s farm in far Western New York. Hartung eventually completes a full loop, having run from his studio to Forest Park and back, a distance of nearly ten miles. Initially trying running as a way to quit smoking, Hartung now has bigger athletic ambitions, building up the distance and frequency of his runs in preparation for possible marathon races.More information and credits
Featuring the work Anna (2011).
Art21 New York Close Up Created & Produced by: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Editor: Brad Kimbrough. Cinematography: Ian Forster & Nick Ravich. Sound: Nick Ravich. Associate Producer: Ian Forster. Design & Graphics: Crux Studio & Open. Artwork & Additional Photography: Tommy Hartung. Thanks: Stephanie Andreou. An Art21 Workshop Production. © Art21, Inc. 2013. All rights reserved.
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Tommy Hartung was born in 1979 in Akron, Ohio, and lives and works in New York. Growing up on a farm in upstate New York, Hartung spent countless days alone in the woods, building forts and living in a world of his imagination—which he considers the beginning of his artistic practice. Continuing to build fantastical worlds in his adult work, Hartung combines stop-motion animation and self-produced videos with found footage and cheap consumer technologies; all of his production sets are built in his studio using found objects.
“Running is kinda like art. There’s not like an immediate practical function to it—what am I chasing?“