Recent Work by Ephraim Asili
Ephraim Asili in person!
RUN OF LIFE Experimental
Documentary Series


Monday, February 22, 7 pm, $10
Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL
Purchase tickets here.

Ephraim Asili’s work celebrates the African Diaspora as a cultural force—a lineage of years and miles that influences contemporary African-American identity and the cultural identity of North America in general. Complicating the traditional travelogue, Asili weaves together the near and the far as a way of revealing linkages across history and geography. Through audio-visual examinations of societal iconography identity, geography, and architecture Asili strives to present a personal vision which could be described as an amalgam of pop, African American and “moving image” culture filtered through an acute sense of rhythmic improvisation and compositional awareness.

Program Details:
(2015, 16mm transferred to digital, 3 min.)
A video for Josephine Foster’s song, Pretty Please, featuring a pageant of actors performing biblical characters.

(2009, video, 33 min.)
Points on a Space Age explores the recent activity of the remaining members of the influential Sun Ra Arkestra since the passing of its founding member, Sun Ra and examines their current work (in the physical absence of Sun Ra) under the direction of Marshall Allen. – EA

(2011, 16mm transferred to digital video, 16 min.)
Photographed on location in Harlem, Ethiopia, Forged Ways combines elements of documentary, narrative, and experimental film form. Structurally the film cycles between the first person account of filmmaker, the third person experience of a man navigating the streets of Harlem, and day-to-day life in cities and villages of Ethiopia. By subduing any definitive story-line or “message” the film functions as an audio visual meditation on the constructs surrounding African American cultural identity while simultaneously examining some of the more subtle implications involved in maintaining an identity that spans hundreds of years, and thousands of miles. – EA

(2013, 16mm transferred to digital, 19 minutes)
Oscillating between a street festival in Philadelphia, the slave forts and capitol city of Ghana, and the New Jersey shore, American Hunger, explores the relationship between personal experience and collective histories. American fantasies confront African realities. African realities confront American fantasies. African fantasies confront American realities. American realities confront African fantasies. – EA

(2015, 16mm transferred to digital, 9 min.)
Filmed on location in Salvador, Brazil (the last city in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw slavery) and Harlem, New York (an international stronghold of the African Diaspora), Many Thousands Gone draws parallels between a summer afternoon on the streets of the two cities. A silent version of the film was given to jazz multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee to use as an interpretive score. The final film is the combination of the images and a modified version of McPhee’s real time “sight reading” of the score. – EA

Ephraim Asili is an African American artist, filmmaker, DJ, radio host, and traveler. Asili’s films have screened in in festivals and venues all over the world including The New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Milano Film Festival and the International film festival of Trinidad and Tobago. Currently Asili serves as Technical Director and faculty for the Film and Electronic Arts Department at Bard College and hosts a radio show on WGXC 90.7 FM Hudson, New York.

Filed under: 16mm, archival, documentary, experimental, film, international, music, video