Cliff Banquets artist collective, presents a retrospective exhibition—Tyler Brunner: Burning Stone Postmortem—of their award-winning musical film Burning Stone, directed by Tyler Brunner. The exhibition will be on view at the Parlor, a former funeral home, running from March 10, through April 1, with live performances and a pop-up speakeasy at the opening reception on March 10 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM. The exhibition is curated by Baltimore-based independent curator Joyce Liang.

Burning Stone premiered at the Charles Theatre in June 2022, featuring specialty cocktails crafted by local restaurant Tapas Teatro, and handmade chocolate by the artist himself. Having won the Best Soundtrack award at the High Tatras Film Festival, and Best Original Score and Best Feature at the Mindfield Film Festival, the film has toured around the city of Baltimore, including a preparatory screening at Guilford Brewery Hall on February 16, 2023, prior to the exhibition.

Shooting over the course of two and a half years between the backcountry, and his home studio, Tyler Brunner bred forty butterflies, which were cast in his film Burning Stone as a symbolization of the main character, Enoch. From eggs, butterflies lived their whole life cycle in a black box, a homemade shooting studio in Brunner’s room (please refer to the disclaimer below for more details on the handling of butterflies). Their bodies were eventually covered in yellow oxide powder, symbolizing Enoch’s divine physical disintegration through exposure to radioactivity. “The butterflies used in the film lived out their whole life cycle and were intimately cared for, however, they were not immortalized in film,” said Brunner. 

With the opening of Memento mori on November 18, 2022, 108 West North Avenue marked its new beginning as an affordable art space as well as a speakeasy bar and restaurant in Station North Arts District. Until then, the building served as a community funeral house where families and friends grieved the passing of their beloved ones since 1914. From its vestibule to the main hall, the Parlor builds a bridge between us and a world that remains mystical but solemn. Tyler Brunner: Burning Stone Postmortem hopes to immortalize the passing of the butterflies and reflect on the many other components that contributed to the film, echoing the love, grief, and history of this building. As the second chapter of the film, this exhibition marks the end of the Burning Stone series and celebrates a new beginning for the artist and the Cliff Banquet Artist Collective, just as the repurposing of the Parlor.

Throughout the completion of Burning Stone, Brunner sketched over a hundred drawings, composed the film’s soundtrack, designed and delivered performances taking hundreds of hours, and melted several props including the sculpture Rogue Pitch Foundry. The exhibition Tyler Brunner: Burning Stone Postmortem documents the conflation of many fires in a foundry. “Ultimately, the point is that it’s a retrospective that reflects on how encompassing and passionate all of the constituent parts were.”

The exhibition is made possible by the partnership and sponsorship of Station North Arts District and the Parlor.

Disclaimer: The butterflies used in the film lived out their full natural life cycles. The first two generations were released upon their natural host plants which were planted and cared for the years prior. The third and fourth generations were cared for indoors until their passing. They remained unharmed throughout the filming process of Burning Stone. This exhibition includes the preserved bodies of butterflies. 

Exhibition Date: March 10 – April 1, 2023

Gallery hours: Every Friday & Saturday from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Location: The Parlor

108 W North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201

Contact: [email protected]


Film Screening at Guilford Hall Brewery

February 16, 2023 (Thursday)

6:00 – 9:00 PM

Guilford Hall Brewery

1611 Guilford Ave, Baltimore, MD 21202

Opening Reception

Performance by artist Tyler Brunner & Speakeasy Bar

March 10, 2023 (Friday)

6:00 – 9:00 PM (performance at 7:00 PM)

Vivifying the performance from the film, artist Tyler Brunner will perform a scene extracted from the film.

Film Screening: Burning Stone by Tyler Brunner

Every Friday (3/17, 3/24, 3/31)

7:00 PM

The Parlor

Film Screening: The Deviation of Desire: Fire by Joy Li

Every Saturday (3/11, 3/18, 3/25)

7:00 PM

The Parlor

Since 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has spread globally. A young woman quarantining at home lights a candle on her palm in order to fight against the numbness caused by virtual online interaction. After this intimate contact with flames, she thinks that she has fallen in love with fire. And then, she started a series of practices to get closer to fire.”

Closing Reception

Performance by artist Tyler Brunner & Speakeasy Bar

April 1, 2023 (Friday)

6:00 – 9:00 PM

Artist Tyler Brunner will close the exhibition with a performance that marks the end of the Burning Stone Series

About the Artist

Tyler Brunner (b. 1998, Boynton Beach FL) is a visual artist and musician living and working in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (2020), majoring in Interdisciplinary Sculpture. Brunner recently completed ‘Burning Stone’, a musical film uniting the Books of Enoch and the anecdotal worship of Uranium.

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