“A sharp, sweet, eloquent documentary about the merriest, most artistically expansive minimalist on record. Many a sonic imagination was fed by Conrad. His work and his life asserted the importance of listening for the sounds nobody else has heard. A love letter to a specific period of downtown Manhattan bohemia…Hubby’s film captures Conrad in all his facets, as longtime Buffalo, N.Y., media professor, and more broadly as a man determined to make "abstract art funny, happy, energetic, joyful." Now a sort of wake, but because the film’s really good, it’ll be a wake full of life.”
"An exploration of avant-garde art that has little time for elitism or pretense. Hubby captures an artistic personality that could manifest big ideas without a shred of snobbery, could deflate pomposity while still inviting deep thought.”
The Hollywood Reporter
"It’s hard to imagine a better tribute to Tony Conrad than Tyler Hubby’s film. Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present does an admirable job of compressing a massively important and influential career into a feature-length documentary without feeling rushed. It’s tough to imagine watching this film and not feeling immediately compelled to dive into Tony Conrad’s work."
“An unpretentious portrait of a singular artist. It requires no prerequisite knowledge of the subject, but it never shies away from its complex radicalism”
"Conrad’s desire to upset the distinctions between artist, audience and media is one theme running through Hubby’s warm portrait of the artist as a lifelong contrarian…capturing a working life spent running counter to master plans and grand narratives, yet still devoted to perpetual motion."
"Completely in the Present aims to remove much of the structure of your typical documentary film by taking a nonlinear path through Conrad’s life. The narrative jumps around five decades yet there remains a beautifully clear understanding of his life and works. In the opening titles, a fabulously edited and timed sequence of Conrad’s art provides an abridgement to the interesting, fun, and occasionally odd, world we’re about to enter."
“The film is superb; I'll just say that I laughed out loud literally dozens of times -- usually at the comic timing with which Tony delivers a punchline, but also at the sheer number of insane, ingenious left turns as each new artistic project is described. I found myself thinking about person after person who needs to see this, who would be amazed and inspired and chastised and emboldened by the film and its subject.”
David Grubbs, Author / Musician