This series of questions asked by black males of varying ages opens the trailer for Question Bridge: Black Males, a "transmedia art project that seeks to represent and redefine Black male identity in America." Directed by artists Chris Johnson and Hank Willis Thomas, in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Atlanta-based artist and producer Kamal Sinclair, Question Bridge was filmed across America, including Oakland, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Birmingham, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, over the last four years. Beginning Jan. 27, the Chastain Arts Center will host a video installation to exhibit the work.
The artists interviewed 150 African-American men about black male identity and edited them into a kind of call and response between participants to "to create something that resonates as essentially genuine to viewer and subjects, and provides audiences with an intimate window into the complex and often unspoken dialogue between African American men…In this light, ‘Blackness’ ceases to be a simple, monochromatic concept. A major ambition is to transform our audiences’ appreciation for the diversity within any demographic and provide new opportunities for healing and understanding,” explain the artists in their statement.
"We started off dealing with black males for the Question Bridge concept because we felt that black males have really extremely distorted damaging conceptions and preconceptions dealing with their identity," explains Smith in another Question Bridge video.
"I hope that this project serves to abolish monolithic notions of black male identity," adds Thomas.
To that end, beyond the exhibit, the project also includes a youth curriculum program for teachers and the opportunity for viewers to engage by tracking their identities with the project by adding their own questions and responses.
The show, which will also be presented at the Brooklyn Museum (Jan. 13-June 22), Sundance Film Festival New Frontier exhibit (Jan. 19—29), and Salt Lake City Arts Center (Jan. 19-May 19), runs through March 17 at Chastain Arts Center.
The other weekend local fiber artists joined together for a yarn bombing sesh in Freedom Park. One of the participants, LeVon "Ray" Rhone, sent CL a video from the event. It's a little bit like if Ina Garten had a show about indie crafting, this might be what her opening credits would look like.
Still it's cool to see the work that went up that day. As one woman in the clip remarks: "It's amazing. I wasn't sure anyone was going to show up!"
There's always been a performative aspect to Atlanta visual artist Fahamu Pecou's work. But now he's gone from posing for paparazzi at his own exhibits to "kick[in'] the truth to the young black youth" (never realized how redundant that Inspectah Deck line is till now).
"All Falls Down" serves as the self-penned theme song for Pecou's solo exhibition Hard 2 Death, which opens April 30 at Backslash Gallery in Paris. It's a continuation of his tight focus for the last two years on themes surrounding destructive black male youth culture and exploitative hip-hop images — which he's explored both on canvas and in moderated panel discussions with the likes of Atlanta rapper Killer Mike.
Alongside featured vocalist Jamila Crawford, Pecou wields an old-school flow on "All Falls Down" to call into question the pervasiveness of the dead-end street mentality. It's not just academic, as evidenced by the sincerity of his delivery.
Still, I can't help but wonder what Pudd'n Brathwaite would have to say about all this?
Download "All Falls Down" at Fahamu's bandcamp page.
The line-up for WonderRoot’s General Local, Mostly Independent Film Series: Best of Year One, a event joint curated by Virginia Shearer, Michael Rooks and Patricia Rodewald of the High Museum and Kristy Breneman of WonderRoot, has been announced. If you haven't checked out the ongoing series at the Plaza, this is your chance to catch up with the best of Atlanta's emerging filmmakers and video artists. You can get into the event for free the High Museum of Art, Rich Theatre at 8pm on Saturday, March 19, but be sure to reserve tickets ahead of time.
‘Kiwis: A Song for nice people named Katie’ by Adam Bruneau
‘Togetherness’ by Oliver Smith
‘Until Dust’ by Nathan Hannold
‘Mouth 2 Mouth’ by Patrick Coll and Chris Chambers
‘Chicken Harmonio’ by Edgar Litumo Soto
‘A Lady Can Live Through Anything’ by Justin O’Neal Miller
‘Florida Land’ by Robbie Land
‘Carnivores: Georgia Power Company’ by Brian Danin
‘Black Swan Parody’ by Jamie Hawkins-Gaar
‘One Minute Fluidtoons’ by Brett W Thompson
‘XxxCuzXMe’ by Ashley Anderson and Aaron Keuter
‘Godamersterdam: Freezerpop Rollerblade Day’ by Ben Cohen
‘I Don’t Wanna Be Yr AARP’ by Mike Brune
‘Therepy’ by Darrell C. Hazelrig
‘April at Work’by Cameron Stuart
‘Kinder Surprise’ by Brian Danin
‘Window Pains’ by Patfour
‘You Will Eventually’ by Chelsea Raflo
Clown, why you stay so sad? This submission to our ATL Short Cuts Film Contest uses claymation to tell the epic story of a clown in Atlanta.
Watch the rest of the submissions and vote for your favorite clip here. Then, the winning film will be screened at the Atlanta Film Festival. Pretty exciting stuff for a YouTube video.
What? You missed the most recent World Wide Art Federation showdown, “The Art of War of Art” at Stuart McClean Gallery in the Old Fourth Ward? Here's some video play-by-play of all the golden babies, foxy ladies, paintbrush weaponry and vocal improvisation you wish you'd seen.
Fabian Williams revived his Saw-esque red-masked artist captor, Exacto, to offer opening remarks. This time, the bouts were trimmed to two rounds: live model figure drawing and the infamous “Face Off” where each competitor concocts wild caricatures of one another. During a brief intermission, the large screen above the floor played hilarious “commercial sponsors” from Williams’ Race Card collection and Evolution paints.
Hosts, rapper Sean Falyon returned with artist Dwayne “Dubelyoo” Wright alongside photographer Jasiatic Anderson as the foxy ‘froed Camera Lensey. Lionel Flax appeared as the event commissioner.
When Flax yelled “Fight” it was on.
Next Thursday, Emory University will host a screening and panel discussion of David Wojnarowicz's now-iconic film "A Fire in my Belly," alongside "ITSOFOMO" and footage of AIDS activist group ACT UP from Atlanta in 1990. The panel will include Andy Ditzler and Joey Orr of the queer arts collective John Q, Michael Rooks of The High, Rebecca Dimling Cochran of ArtscriticATL, and Jason Francisco of the Emory Visual Arts Department. "A Fire in my Belly," a short, experimental film made in the late 80's by Wojnarowicz, was the subject of worldwide attention late last year when the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. caved to pressures from the Catholic League and House Speaker John Boehner and removed the video from a group exhibition focused on sexual identity.
Rather than suppress the work, this censorship encouraged activists to champion "A Fire in My Belly," showing the video guerrilla-style in the gallery, launching protests, and bringing the film to a much wider audience than it had previously received. Much of Wojnarowicz's body of work dealt with and worked against the marginalization experienced by queer and HIV-positive communities. A clip from from "ITSOFOMO" begins with the voice-over, "When I was diagnosed with this virus, it didn't take me long to realize I had contracted a diseased society as well." Wojnarowicz died of AIDS-related complications in 1992. The sad irony that Wojnarowicz's art was censored and marginalized again "even in an art exhibit about the marginalization of gay people," as protesters put it, only underscores the continued relevance of his work today.
Art and Censorship: A Screening of David Wojnarowicz's "A Fire in My Belly" and Panel Discussion will happen in White Hall 208 at Emory University on Thurs., Feb. 17 from 7-9 pm.
I drove by Douglas Weathersby's Paint Shed project this morning (across from the Wrecking Bar off Moreland) and noticed his progress. Then, what do ya know, Flux Film/Proper Medium has a brand new video up already of Weathersby slopping paint around on top of the shed.
This looks pretty fun.
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