'Motion Picture' showing this weekend at Silo City

Aug 23, 2013

Much of Buffalo, it seems, is falling in love with its grain elevators. That passion will be on display again  this weekend at Silo City when Torn Space Theater presents its performance installation "Motion Picture."

Silo City event in Buffalo
Credit WBFO News photos provided William J. Ingalls

A reported 7,000 people attended last weekend's City of Night at Silo City, yet another display of the growing community curiosity for the massive grain elevators. Similar crowds are not likely this weekend for Motion Picture, though audiences can expect an "experience for 70 minutes unlike any they've ever had before," said Dan Shanahan, Artistic Director for Torn Space Theater.

Silo City event
Credit WBFO News photos provided William J. Ingalls

"This is something I've always wanted to take on. I've been intrigued by these grain elevators for as long as I can remember," Shanahan said in a recent interview with WBFO News.

"I've been fortunate to work with an incredible team of artists to pull this together. We've been able to bring in a lot of different talents. Lighting designers from UB. A video designer from Buffalo State. Sound designers and all these community partners with reenactors and the bagpipers. It's really allowed us to stretch our legs and create a vision that we've been wanting to put on for some time."

Shanahan says large video projectors will transform the grain elevators into a massive, makeshift drive-in movie screen. A sound system provided by Shakespeare in Delaware Park will pipe in classical music and pre-recorded text from the likes of Walt Whitman and Henry James. Live performances will be offered by equestrian performers and War of 1812 reenactors.

"It's a space like none other," Shanahan said.

"You can't construct a space like that ever again. Buffalo is on the map internationally because of the grain elevators. They have a scale and a size that rivals any grain elevator in the world. They influenced the Bauhaus Movement. Their influences are wide-stretching. It's one of those treasures that if you live in this area you may take them for granted. But we shouldn't do that."

Performances of Motion Picture are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at 8pm at Silo City. Tickets can be purchased at the gate for $10 cash.