four short works
Friday, November 15th, 7PM, $7-$10 suggested donation (cash only)
(Filipa César, 2010-2018, Various Countries, digital, 66 min total)
Artist in attendance!
The Nightingale is proud to welcome Filipa César to Chicago to screen four short genre-bending documentary works, in addition to the screening of her feature-length project Spell Reel (2017) at Conversations at the Edge. These short films and videos shot from 2010-2018 survey César’s current practice, as artistically innovative as it is politically significant.
(2010, 11 min, Portugal)
Applying the same economy used in César’s other films — one shot which uses the duration of an entire 16mm film reel — Porto 1975 is a tracking shot that unfolds at the social housing complex, Cooperativa das Águas Férreas da Bouça, designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, as an integral part of the Ambulatory Service of Social Support (SAAL, 1972–76).
(2012, 10 min, Germany / Guinea-Bissau)
Cacheu is a 10-minute shot of a lecture, performed by Joana Barrios, revolving around four colonial statues, which are stored today at the Fortress of Cacheu, one of the first bastions constructed by the Portuguese in 1588 in order to facilitate slave trade in the West African country of Guinea Bissau.
(2013, 11 min, Germany / Guinea-Bissau)
Staged at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Conakry is a sequence shot on 16mm film that travels through time, space and media to revisit one film reel from the Guinean archive. This particular reel documents an exhibition curated by Amílcar Cabral at the Palais du Peuple in 1972 in Conakry, Guinea, reporting on the state of the war against Portuguese rule.
(with Louis Henderson, 2018, 35 min, France / Portugal)
Sunstone tracks Fresnel lenses from their site of production to their exhibition in a museum of lighthouses and navigational devices. It also examines the diverse social contexts in which optics are implicated, contrasting the system of triangular trade that followed the first European arrivals in the ‘New World’ with the political potential seen in Op art in post-revolutionary Cuba.
About the artist:
Filipa César is an artist and filmmaker interested in the fictional aspects of the documentary, the porous borders between cinema and its reception, and the politics and poetics inherent to the moving image and imaging technologies. Since 2011, she has been researching the origins of the cinema of the African Liberation Movement in Guinea Bissau as a laboratory of resistance to ruling epistemologies. The resulting body of work comprises 16mm films, digital archives, videos, seminars, screenings, publications, ongoing collaborations with artists, theorists, and activists, and is the basis for her Phd thesis at FCSH-New University of Lisbon.
César premiered her first feature-length essay film Spell Reel at the Forum section of the 67th Berlinale, 2017. Selected exhibitions and screenings have taken place at the 29th São Paulo Biennial (2010); Manifesta 8, Cartagena (2010); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2011-15); Jeu de Paume, Paris (2012); Khiasma, Paris (2011-2015); Kunstwerke, Berlin (2013); SAAVY Contemporary, Berlin (2014-15); Tensta Konsthall, Spånga (2015); Mumok, Vienna (2016); Contour 8 Biennial, Mechelen, Gasworks, London, MoMA, New York (2017); The Harvard Art Museums, Boston (2018); HKW, Berlin (2019).
This program is produced in partnership with Conversations at the Edge and the Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Filed under: archival
, artist in attendance
, social justice
Celebrating Videofreex’ 50th anniversary
Wednesday, July 31, 7 PM, $7-10 suggested donation – cash only
Mary Curtis Ratcliff in person!
The Nightingale is thrilled to welcome Mary Curtis Ratcliff, a founding member of the collective Videofreex, to Chicago to screen three videos made from 1969-1970, on the occasion of the group’s 50th anniversary. Mary Curtis Ratcliff—visual artist, videomaker, and political activist—participated in the creation of these tapes both on an off camera as videographer, interviewer, and interviewee. Chicago Travelogue: The Weatherman (1969), Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago (1969), and Curtis’s Abortion (1970) provide a window into the political movements and ideologies that are as important today as they were fifty years ago.
The Videofreex began in 1969 as part of the Manhattan video scene and eventually moved to upstate New York to operate a community video center and the first pirate television station in the U.S. on Maple Tree Farm in Lanesville, NY throughout the 1970s. Since 2001, the Videofreex archive has been held at the Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Shortly after founding the collective, Mary Curtis Ratcliff, Parry Teasdale, and David Cort were hired by CBS to produce video footage of the emerging youth culture in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York for a television pilot called Subject to Change. Though the program never made it to the air, the interviews that they recorded helped inspire the wave of political video documentaries now known as “Guerrilla Television.”
In an interview with the Videofreex, media artist Ralph Hocking once said that “99.99% of videotapes produced are boring as hell to 99.99% of the people who watch them.” What makes the Freex unique is that somehow so many of their tapes fit within the .01% that speak to more than just “video people.” They belong to that slim percentile of video that is essential: they capture the reality of the past and confront us with the urgency of our present.
Chicago Travelogue: The Weathermen, 1969, 22:30
David Cort and Mary Curtis Radcliff interview participants after the “Days of Rage” protest organized by the Chicago-based Weathermen in October of 1969. The Videofreex question the destructive methods of the new group but allow the students to speak about the personal importance of their radical experiences.
Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago, 1969, 24:00
Mary Curtis taped Parry Teasdale and David Cort’s interview with the twenty-one year-old deputy chairman of the Black Panther Party of Illinois just months before he was murdered by the Chicago Police. Members of the Videofreex reportedly broke into CBS offices to rescue the master copy of the interview after their pilot was canceled, and screenings of the video were instrumental in organizing the campaign for a civil case against the CPD.
Curtis’s Abortion, 1970, 22:59
Fellow Videofreex Nancy Cain and Carol Vontobel speak with Mary Curtis about her experience with recently legalized abortion in New York. The participants’ thoughtful conversation turns the informational tape into an unexpectedly warm document of friendship and the women’s rights movement.
All videos will be screened digitally, and were preserved and digitized by the Video Data Bank. Programmed by Zach Vanes and Emily Eddy.
Filed under: anniversary
, artist in attendance
, social justice
Saturday, October 26th, 7 PM, $7-$10 suggested donation (cash only)
Artist in attendance!
The Sky Above: a video work and experience by Kamau Patton
(2014, US, digital, 66 min total)
In Partnership with Machine Project as part of the Getty initiative “Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.”, Machine Project asked artists to take on the whole environment of Los Angeles and create performances shot on video and edited into short experimental films in response to notable architectural sites throughout the city.
As part of The Machine Project Field Guide to L.A. Architecture, artist Kamau Patton engaged with a series of buildings in Los Angeles via a chartered helicopter, while performing a sound work composed for the flight. Accompanied by a cameraman and sound engineer, the entire flight was streamed live to Machine Project’s storefront space and the web.
Kamau Patton is an interdisciplinary artist and art educator. His work is an examination of history and culture through engagement with archives, documents, stories and sites. His research focuses on questions of human ecology, environment, memory, cyberspace, telematics, and transmission technologies. Patton’s projects take form as expanded field conversations, always becoming, continuing and undergoing transformation.Patton received his MFA from Stanford University in 2007 and his BA in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Filed under: artist in attendance