Week of July 21, 2004

Jul 21, 2004 at 4:00 am
How to Draw a Bunny John W. Walter. (unrated) When invited to mount a show, Ray Johnson challenged galleries to accept, literally, "Nothing." In the meantime, Johnson created exquisite collages, " portrait" silhouettes and his own offbeat performance art, dropping hot dogs over Ward Island. In increasingly bizarre negotiations, Johnson cut off a quarter of an art piece when the buyer offered 25 percent less than the asking price. And after his suicide at the age of 67 on January 13, 1995, Johnson's house was found crowded with shelves of carefully stacked boxes -- and an air mattress. Struggling mightily to fathom this elusive artist, director/editor John W. Walter fashions his own documentary collage of stellar interviews, readings of Johnson's letters and home video. How to Draw a Bunny would please Ray Johnson -- this "most famous unknown artist in America" with works in major museums, this "founding father of mail art" -- as another absorbing performance for this entertaining but enigmatic man. Screens at 8 p.m. Friday, July 23, through Sunday, July 25, in Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood Avenue. Call 314-968-7487 for more information. (Diane Carson)