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2014 Untitled Season Kickoff: The Return of Joan & Charlie & All Things Au Naturel

Untitled #63 (Au Naturel) kicks off the eighth season of Untitled Final Fridays at the DAM, and with it, the eighth season of Buntport Theater’s Joan and Charlie Discuss Tonight’s Theme. For those of you who need a refresher since last season or if you are tuning in for the first time, our friends at Buntport have compiled a few telling tidbits about our favorite odd couple to get you up to speed.  There’s a lot to look forward to this year: Will Joan finally admit her feelings for Charlie? Or, even better, will she finally go for a dip in the pool? Without further ado….

A summary of Joan and Charlie in nine fun facts (and photos below):

  1. Joan and Charlie have been at every Untitled, with the exception of episode “Made in China” (Untitled #43), when they were replaced by Dick and Barbara, hosts of a live infomercial hawking Joan-and-Charlie-related gear.
  2. The show is based on a painting in the museum’s contemporary art collection: Self Portrait with Swimming Coach Charlie Sava by Joan Brown.
  3. Originally intended to be performed all around the museum, Joan and Charlie quickly found their home in the third floor freight elevator. Only two episodes have been performed elsewhere. One very close by—in front of artworks in the same third floor foyer as the freight elevator pool. One farther away, in a closet on the sixth floor of the North Building (a space which brought out Charlie’s tap-dancin’ side).
  4. Joan and Charlie have twice been visited by other characters found in the DAM’s art collection. Once by a background player in a 1496 painting found in the North Building (episode “Old School” at Untitled #23) and once by one of the foxes from Fox Games (episode “I.D.” at Untitled #34).
  5. It has been quite obvious from the beginning that there is romantic interest on both sides of this relationship, but equally obvious that Joan may never give herself over to her desires, though they did go on a date (episode “Pyro” at Untitled #19) and shared a very awkward kiss (episode “Coda” at Untitled #42).
  6. To help him cope with his feelings for Joan, Charlie participated in a swimming instructor exchange program for a while. He spent some time in Dayton, Ohio and was replaced by Teddy, a lively happy-go-lucky swimming coach.
  7. Every once in a while someone else will show up during "Joan and Charlie," like Max, Joan’s ex (episode “I Heart” at Untitled #21) or Beth, another one of Charlie’s students that Joan is jealous of and insists on calling Tina (several episodes) or Johanna, the therapist Charlie brought in to work on their “relationship” (episode “Grounded” at Untitled #40).
  8. Joan has never gotten in the pool, though there have been a couple fantasy sequences in which she did.
  9. During the “Sloth” episode (Untitled #30), it was discovered that there is a bizarre version of Joan and Charlie in an elevator of the North Building: a happy, cooperative version that actually spends time in the water during their swimming lessons.

Joan and Charlie’s next (mis)adventure isn’t the only thing to look forward to at Untitled #63 (Au Naturel).  Warm Cookies of the Revolution will dissect the bare essentials of our culture in a cookie-filled chat. DPL’s Fresh City Life is back in action with a fresh look at landscapes. Go on an olfactory detour with perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. Get a make-under and learn about makeup trends throughout art history with the ladies of R.L. Linden and VERT Beauty.  Art historian Giulia Bernadini will take you on a tour looking at—what else?—nudes. Try your hand at figure drawing from a live model, or basket-weaving with natural fibers. Catch Brandi Shigley of B.Sue as she roams the museum filling the galleries with French music. Sample handmade, naturally crafted spirits from Dancing Pines Distillery and K J Wood Distillers. See you on January 31 for another season of Untitled!

See you at Untitled #63 (Au Naturel) on Friday, January 31. You can view the event listing on our calendar and RSVP on our Facebook page.

Rose Eason is the coordinator of adult and college programs in the education department at the Denver Art Museum. Rose has been at the DAM since 2012 and her favorite artwork that has been on view here is Mud Woman Rolls On.