Harold & Everson: Sugarcoated Arsenic
In Person: Mary Helena Clark; Joshua Gen Solondz and Eric Stewart
Join our Facebook event.
Prisoner’s Cinema(2012) by Joshua Gen Solondz; digital video, b&w, sound, 10 minutes, from the maker bay area premiere
It has been widely reported that prisoners confined to dark cells often see brilliant light displays, which is sometimes called the “prisoner’s cinema.”
“…the brain contains many (perhaps an infinite number) of feedback loops. One of these involves a pathway between a part of the frontal lobe of the brain, which extends through the cingulate gyrus, caudate nucleus and down to the thalamus. This particular pathway is associated with the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is involved in many biological processes, including those of depression and sleep.” (Salvatore Cullari)
I hand-spliced this project until my computer crashed. It should induce alpha and delta states, the brain states of the hyper aware and the comatose. For my mother. (Joshua Gen Solondz)
Wake (2014) by Eric Stewart; 16mm, b&w, silent, 8 minutes, from the maker bay area premiere
Wake is a dirge in celluloid. It is a celebration of my father’s life, a meditation on his body and a visual record of mourning. When my father died, there was never a chance to see his body after life had left it. This film was made by placing his ashes directly on 35mm film in a dark room and moving the film a frame at a time. What we see in this process of photogramming is not the object in the photographic sense, but instead a representation of the space surrounding an object. The photogram is a shadow which charts the distance between things. (Eric Stewart)
The Kiss (2014) by Luis Maciás; 35mm, b&w, sound, 9 minutes, from the maker bay area premiere
Based on the film The Kiss (T. Edison, 1896) in its original 35mm format, this video/film project is based on a structural re-shooting/re-recording of the original film in all existing formats: analog, electronic and digital, in an evolutive form. The emphasis is on the kiss while the film deteriorates in its own progress. (Luis Maciás)
The Sound of Running in My Voice (2014) by Mary Helena Clark; digital video, color, sound, 5 minutes, from the maker
We ape naturalism. (Mary Helena Clark)
3 miniatures: an aging process; a kind of quiet; a certain worry (2014) by Jonathan Schwartz; 16mm, color, sound, 9 minutes, from the maker bay area premieres
from a series of miniatures:
—an aging process located in the peonies and in the river and the in the light that falls across the playful bodies of youth for now.
—a kind of quiet situates itself in the in between place of ascending and descending. you make it hard to land and when this happens something else might disappear.
—a certain worry enveloped in the covering on the ground, illuminated around a face, light on something ferocious, touch upon something gentle
Sugarcoated Arsenic (2014) by Claudrena Harold and Kevin Jerome Everson; digital video, b&w, sound, 20 minutes, from Picture Palace Pictures bay area premiere
Much of my work as a historian has been devoted to exploring the nuances of the southern black voice—its pregnant silences, its powerful whispers and its eruptive rage. Working with Kevin Jerome Everson on Sugarcoated Arsenic provided me with the unique opportunity to continue that exploration through the interpretive power of film.
The genesis of Sugarcoated Arsenic can be traced to the fall of 2011, when my discovery of rare archival materials (reel-to-reel audio, discarded photographs and local newspapers) at the University of Virginia revealed the institution’s deep though largely undocumented connection to the cultural and political revolutions of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The fragmented yet richly textured archival material illuminated a world in which young women and men not only challenged the racist protocols and practices of the university but also built a community of solidarity and human warmth.
The nuances of African American life are readily apparent in Sugarcoated Arsenic, particularly those scenes where visual images of black collective intimacy intermingle with the sounds of radical protest. What these scenes and the larger work capture is not only the spontaneity of our subjects’ lives but also the improvisational spirit guiding my collaborative work with Kevin. (Claudrena Harold, Dec. 2013)
O, Persecuted (2014) by Basma Alsharif; digital video, color, sound, 12 minutes, from the maker bay area premiere
O, Persecuted turns the act of restoring Kassem Hawal’s 1974 Palestinian Militant film Our Small Houses into a performance possible only through film. One that involves speed, bodies and the movement of the past into a future that collides ideology with escapism. (Basma Alsharif)
CROSSROADS 2015 receives generous support from: the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund/Grants for the Arts, Fleishhacker Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and The Willow Foundation