Hale County, This Morning, This Evening
RaMell Ross Teaching and Learning Resources-1cfylr1
“The American stranger knows Blackness as a fact—even though it is fiction,” says writer-director RaMell Ross.
“[There is] 100% not a message [in this film]. My whole thing is [about] experience. Knowledge is experience. … My goal is to create an experience of the historic South, the experience of the centrality of the black experience, the experience of [peoples’] lives. Let that experience meet [the audience] where they are in their life…” –RaMell Ross
In the center of this gorgeous cinematic film is a photographer looking at people, at experience, and capturing that with his lens. RaMell Ross gets behind the camera, wonders and drifts from moment to moment, sometimes perfectly still, other times in the seat of volume and movement. Hale County, This Morning, This Evening is an intimate look at its subjects as they move about their lives day to day in the enduringly oppressive and complex historic American South. The experience of the South very different depending on whom you talk to and when you talk to them. This film looks to hold the audience in an enduring gaze as it dares the viewer to be still, keep looking, see new things, and appreciate the beauty and details of the everyday.
Themes and ideas include: identity, place, history, memory, tradition, culture
Mickalene Thomas: I Can’t See You Without Me
Mickalene Thomas Teaching and Learning Resources-2ffo4dg
“You can’t believe in yourself if you can’t see yourself in images. That’s why I make what I make. It’s about me waiting to see myself and claim spaces that have been void for so long. Present images so that when little girls go to museums they can look up and see themselves. I am here.” –Mickalene Thomas
Mickalene Thomas: I Can’t See You Without Me is an expansive body of work that will highlight many of the large-scale brilliant and stunning work. The exhibition is a “visual dialogue with art history, identity, desire, power, authorship, and the historically fraught relationship between artist and subject.” The works are composed of intricate detail, beauty, and authenticity, revealing the complex relationship and character of four main subject models or muses, including Mickalene Thomas herself.
“I’m so interested in this idea of being seen and seeing yourself… When I take a photograph, that gaze is forcing the viewer to see my subjects—to recognize them.” – Mickalene Thomas
Themes and ideas include: identity, creative process, portraiture, perception, beauty, power, muse
Jaamil Olawale Kosoko
Jaamil Olawale Kosoko Teaching and Learning Resources-16t34co
“I think of a quote by James Baldwin: ‘You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.’ And I think really situating myself inside of being bookish has allowed me an understanding to know that my story is not particularly unique.” – Jaamil Olawale Kosoko (Interview on the podcast, “Terrible, Thanks for Asking”)
“Séancers,” conceptualized by performing artist Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, is a dynamic meditation exploring identity, culture, community, and traditions. In the work, Kosoko is asking questions about where and how we spend our time, how are we present in the world and with whom. The work also explores loss, grief, transition, and has many performative layers literally and figuratively. Kosoko has roots in poetry, but the expanse of his work is use of the whole body to reveal and depart, revisit and restore ideas, space, identity and culture. Featuring a sound score by Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, the work is rich and inventive, bending words, body, and sound. “The creative work for me is a catalyst to engage in dialogue and critical conversation. That’s really what I thirst for, to be part of a larger conversation.”–Jaamil Olawale Kosoko
Themes and ideas include: identity, culture, loss/grieving, music/sound, narrative, tradition, contemporary, time and space