Amy Granat (1976-)
Drew Heitzler (1972-)
Two-screen 16mm film installation, color, sound, 200 min., transferred to video
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from Saralee G. Fine
Rights and Reproductions Information
© the artists
Filmmakers Amy Granat and Drew Heitzler collaborated to make T.S.O.Y.W., a two-part film based on Wolfgang von Goethe’s loosely autobiographic, tragic novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774). Following the style of the American road movie Easy Rider (1969), T.S.O.Y.W. chronicles a dysfunctional love story between a man and his motorcycle while representing what the artists call America’s “wartime malaise.” Werther, portrayed by artist Skylar Haskard, steals a friend’s Harley-Davidson to cruise the desert, eventually arriving at art historical destinations including Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, Walter de Maria’s The Lightning Field, and James Turrell’s Roden Crater. Granat and Heitzler’s variations on the theme—which they edited from 16-millmeter footage that they shot simultaneously on identical Bolex cameras—are screened as dual projections. Although T.S.O.Y.W., was originally presented as a silent film, it was screened at the 2008 Whitney Biennial with a soundtrack recorded by Granat, artist Jutta Koether, and musician/writer Stefan Tcherepnin.