WHITE BALLS ON WALLS
MUST END THURSDAY, JUNE 8
Wednesday, June 7 – Thursday, June 8:
DIRECTED BY SARAH VOS
The setting is a white conference room in the pristine offices of Amsterdam’s world-famous museum of modern art, the Stedelijk. The museum’s leading curators and administrators (all white), including Director Rein Wolfs, convene to discuss the government’s diversity and inclusion mandate, a new requirement for continued financial support. How does a major cultural institution go about changing course dramatically — to exhibit work by people of color, women, LGBTQ+ artists, and those who suffered under the Netherlands’ 250 years of colonial rule — and also reform the decision-making process? With extraordinary candor and not a little humor, these very white Dutch people endeavor to empower nonwhite voices, exhibit a broader swath of humanity, address problematic signage, and confront their colonial past. But can they accept new conceptions of important, relevant, and exciting art? Will the museum have to jettison its Mondrians, de Koonings, Chagalls, and Picassos?
Note: The film’s title is from a Guerrilla Girls sign referencing white men as the standard for art museum exhibits.
With support from the Richard Brick, Geri Ashur, and Sara Bershtel Fund for Social Justice Documentaries, the Helen Frankenthaler Endowed Fund for Films on Art, and the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Fund
2022 90 MIN. THE NETHERLANDS ICARUS FILMS
IN ENGLISH AND DUTCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
"WHITE BALLS ON WALLS is essential viewing not only for those who care about art and cultural institutions, but for anyone interested in the vital changes happening within contemporary society today."
– Barbara Goslawski, POV
"Insightful...the film isn’t a reverent ode to these indelible works of fine art, but a merciless and hilarious interrogation of who decides which works of art end up in the museum’s gallery and why."
– Clayton Dillard, Slant
“WHITE BALLS ON WALLS is everything you hope for. Filmed during a process that inevitably causes discomfort, with flawless intuition and restraint, but unmistakably with a sense of humor. Entertaining, at times funny, insightful and exciting...[the film] is an important contribution to much-needed institutional change and awareness.”