In a recent post for the Indiana University Press blog, frequent liquid blackness contributor, Charles Linscott discusses further the claims of his article “#BlackLivesMatter and the Mediatic Lives of a Movement” as recently published in Black Camera. In the most recent issue of Black Camera, Linscott along with Michele Prettyman Beverly and liquid blackness‘ founder Alessandra Raengo explore some of the essential questions regarding how #BLM inhabits rich mediatic lives. Read the blog post in full here.
Arthur Jafa’s A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions is currently on exhibition at London’s Serpentine Sackler Gallery. A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions is rendered as a site-specific installation featuring a series of new assemblages that encompass film, photography and found footage. In addition to his exhibition at the Sackler Gallery, Jafa will also devise a new, site-specific event as part of the 2017 Park Nights series, which takes place in the Serpentine Pavilion. The exhibition is currently on view through September 10th. Read more here.
In light of his upcoming exhibition at the Venice Biennale, artist, Mark Bradford is interviewed and profiled in The New York Times on what it means today to be considered an American artist. Bradford is perhaps most famous for his work in mixed-media collages such as “The Scorched Earth” exhibition at the Hammer Museum in 2015; the concept of liquid blackness was described for the first time in the catalog accompanying the exhibition.
Arthur Jafa’s Love is the Message, The Message is Death, a short single-channel video piece, opened over the weekend at MOCA L.A., marking the video’s debut on the west coast. The video, which Jafa previewed last spring at the liquid blackness event “Can Blackness Be Loved” hosted at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, will run at MOCA through June 12th. Read more including an interview with Jafa here.
*Please note the time and date of the conversation with Julie Dash has been changed to 5 pm, Saturday April 8th after the screening of Daughters of the Dust.
The nonprofit, Artadia awarded L.A. based artists, Kahlil Joseph and Gala Porras-Kim their Los Angeles Award granting each $10,000 for future work. Bennett Simpson, senior curator of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’s and Anuradha Vikram, artistic director of 18th Street Arts Center, worked with Artadia to choose the winners. Read more at artnews.
liquid blackness joins in celebrating John Akomfrah’s winning of the 7th edition of the Artes Mundi Prize, the largest arts prize in the UK. The Artes Mundi prize is awarded to a single artist who is judged to have consistently made thought provoking work of exceptional quality that fits within the criteria of the prize.
The prize of £40,000 is designed to allow the winner to develop substantial new work or the time to reflect on their practice and move it forward. Founded in 2002 by Welsh artist William Wilkins, the Artes Mundi Exhibition and Prize is Wales’ biggest and most exciting contemporary visual art show, the largest art prize in the UK and one of the most significant in the world. According to ArtNet News, the Artes Mundi 7 Prize was awarded for Akomfrah’s presentation of Auto Da Fé and for a substantial body of outstanding work dealing with issues of migration, racism, and religious persecution.
Faculty coordinator of liquid blackness, Alessandra Raengo will participate in The Futures of Afrofuturism: A Symposium at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Futures will present new perspectives on Afrofuturism, a contemporary arts movement connecting the musical, literary, and visual arts and combining elements of science fiction and speculative futurism, history, and fantasy with African and African diasporic cultures and political standpoints. The symposium will be held March 30-31, 2017 in the Haslam Business Building, West Wing, Rm. 440. For a full schedule and list of participants click here.
ASAP (Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present) is accepting submissions through March 15th for the 9th annual meeting to be held October 26-28, 2017 at the Oakland Marriott Convention Center and hosted by U.C. Berkley. Submission guidelines and more details are available here.
Baldwin’s Nigger and Reggae
Friday, February 24, 2017
Gallery 992 | 8:00 pm
$10 admission | Tickets available on EventbriteCo-sponsored by Liquid Blackness, the Department of Film & Media Studies and the James Weldon Johnson Institute at Emory University
Horace Ové, CBE, may be best known for Pressure (1976), the first feature film by a black director in Britain. But earlier in his career came two remarkable political documentaries produced in the wake of Black Power – one a document of James Baldwin at peak intensity, and the other an examination of reggae at the very beginning of its international emergence.
The 2016 Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro has shown all over again the importance of James Baldwin’s ideas and the ever-powerful force of his literary voice. Horace Ové’s film Baldwin’s Nigger documents a 1969 appearance by Baldwin and Dick Gregory at London’s West Indian Student Centre. In an extemporized address to a packed room, Baldwin undertakes a complex examination of the experience of blackness, in history and in the immediate context of the American war in Vietnam.
Always a magnetic presence, Baldwin is at his most riveting in this film. Following his talk is an animated back-and-forth between the audience of students, activists, and community members and Baldwin, who responds in the moment to questions about integration, the difference between “Negro” and “black,” and the role of white liberals in Black Power. Ové’s film, rather than simply celebrating a famous writer, preserves the integrity of Baldwin’s encounter with his audience. Baldwin’s Nigger is thus a valuable document not only of Baldwin, but of the West Indian Student Centre itself, and of a black community in Britain finding the way through a fraught political moment.
Reggae is a very early documentary about the political significance of Jamaican music’s emergence in Britain. Filmed partly at a 1970 concert in Wembley Stadium and containing performances by Desmond Dekker, the Maytals and other superstars, Reggae is nonetheless something other than a concert film. Found footage, street photography, interviews with fans and music industry figures combine with the vintage performances to create a sharp and textured report that captures its moment and looks forward to reggae’s worldwide acceptance and its influence on the imminent development of British punk.
Though quite different from each other, both of these films touch on themes of immigration, integration, and black culture across borders. Their immediate context was the West Indian experience in Britain in the era of Black Power, but Horace Ové’s prescience as a filmmaker ensures they remain ever-relevant to us, here, today, in the era of Black Lives Matter, and beyond.
Baldwin’s Nigger (Horace Ové, 1969) 45 minutes
Reggae (Horace Ové, 1971) 60 minute
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