Post-screening discussion with Rebecca Cleman and Chris Hill
A program of video-based works that used television technology to bring public attention to Black American identity, through intervention, documentation, and parody, as in Anthony Ramos’s About Media, in which the artist uses his Portapak camera to turn a news crew’s visit to his home into media critique. Co-programmed by Rebecca Cleman and presented by Rebecca Cleman and Chris Hill.
Queen Mother Moore Speech at Greenhaven Prison
People’s Communications Network, USA, 1973, digital projection, 17m
Two years after the uprising and deaths at Attica Prison, a prisoners group, Think Tank, organized a community day celebration in a Green Haven Prison yard. Among the events documented that day by the People’s Communication Network, an early New York City video collective, is a remarkable speech delivered by septuagenarian Queen Mother Moore to an audience of incarcerated men and their families. —Chris Hill
Anthony Ramos, USA, 1977, digital projection, 25m
Anthony Ramos's About Media (1977) looks at how the individual can be disenfranchised by corporate media in the matrix of slanted newsmaking. Ramos identifies himself as an outsider, both because of his race (he is of Cape Verdean descent) and because of his status as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. When a news crew comes to film his reaction to President Carter's amnesty to draft evaders, Ramos greets them with his own cameraman. —Rebecca Cleman
Image courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.
Free, White, and 21
Howardena Pindell, USA, 1980, digital projection, 12m
Pindell delivers a stark direct-camera monologue recounting incidents in which she was biased against for being an African-American woman. A blonde white woman (Pindell in disguise) injects a cynical rebuttal, claiming Pindell is just being paranoid.