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Hirshhorn Announces DISASTERTHON!

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March 31, 2014

All-Day Screening of Disaster Films Culminates in Crowdsourced Favorite
In conjunction with the exhibition “Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950,” the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden announces DISASTERTHON!, a 12-hour disaster-film marathon Saturday, April 26, from noon to midnight. Six cataclysmic classics will be screened in the museum’s Ring Auditorium, culminating in a crowdsourced favorite determined by SurveyMonkey polling. “Damage Control” galleries will be open until 10 p.m. for extended viewing.

This is one movie event where no one will be told to put away their phone—there will be live-tweeting throughout the day. Admission is free, and seating will be first-come, first-served. Films may include adult content.

About the Voting
At hirshhorn.si.edu/DISASTERTHON, disaster movie fans can vote for the Most Epic Disaster Movie of All Time. Twenty-five titles are suggested, but disagreement is encouraged. Will the absurd comedy of Stanley Kubrick’s anti-war masterpiece “Dr. Strangelove” (1964) trump the ominous rumblings of the Sensurround-pioneering “Earthquake” (1974)? Can the relentlessly morphing villain of James Cameron’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) best the airborne terror that is “Sharknado” (2013)? Or will a dark horse emerge from a pack of write-ins? Find out when the winning film hits the screen at 10 p.m., closing out the marathon with a bang.

About the Contests
Three separate contests reward finely honed rhetoric, wacky millinery and butt-numbing endurance:

First-, second- and third-place prizes will be awarded for Civil Defense, in which online voters craft persuasive defenses of their film faves. This is the only contest in which participants need not be present to win. Disaster fans who live in fortified bunkers 300 feet underground can vote online and follow DISASTERTHON! on Twitter to find out if they’ve won.

Hat-astrophe celebrates the creativity of gold-, silver- and bronze-medal crafters of disaster-themed hats. No flammables, liquids or hazmats are allowed in the museum—just good fun and a chance to outshine your rivals at the evening vernissage!

Viewers who come for the first film will receive a Passport to Disaster. At the end of each movie, a specially designed rubber stamp (biohazard symbol, radioactivity warning symbol, etc.) will confirm attendance. Those who grind all the way through to the bitter end will receive not only a fully stamped Passport to testify to their stick-to-itiveness but other fabulous prizes!

About “Damage Control”
On view at the Hirshhorn through May 26, “Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950” offers an overview of the phenomenon of destruction in international contemporary art and culture. The exhibition includes works by artists such as Vija Celmins, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Christian Marclay, Gustav Metzger, Laurel Nakadate, Yoko Ono, Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol in a range of mediums, from painting, drawing and sculpture to video, photography and performance. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by co-curators Kerry Brougher, interim director and chief curator of the Hirshhorn, and Russell Ferguson, professor of art at UCLA, as well as art historian Dario Gamboni of the University of Geneva.

About the Hirshhorn
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian’s museum of international modern and contemporary art, has nearly 12,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs, mixed-media installations, works on paper and new media works in its collection. The Hirshhorn presents diverse exhibitions and offers an array of public programs that explore modern and contemporary art. Located at Independence Avenue and Seventh Street S.W., the museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission to the galleries and special programs is free. For more information about exhibitions and events, visit hirshhorn.si.edu. Follow the Hirshhorn on Facebook at facebook.com/hirshhorn, on Twitter at twitter.com/hirshhorn and on Tumblr at hirshhorn.tumblr.com. Or sign up for the museum’s eBlasts at hirshhorn.si.edu/collection/social-media. To request accessibility services, contact Kristy Maruca at marucak@si.edu or (202) 633-2796, preferably two weeks in advance.

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