Assembly of Images: On Histories of Race and Representation
Program Three: Garrett Bradley
view this program April 1–April 30, 2021 at
Assembly of Images: On Histories of Race and Representation is a three-month series featuring films by that explore and provide counterpoint to the history of race and the representation of African Americans in cinema and photographic traditions. These works are steeped in memory, history and deeply personal imaginings that linger in between lived realities and cinematic dreaming. Grounded in experimental formats, nonfiction impulses and independent filmmaking, these selections reframe and remix representations of joy and love, identity and perception, struggle and resilience and harness the power in claiming the narrative, mining archives and sharing histories. Full series details here.
Assembly of Images is curated by Gina Basso, Manager of Film Programs, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and co-presented by San Francisco Cinematheque and SFMOMA.
SCREENING: America (2019) by Garrett Bradley; digital video, b&w, sound, 2019, 30 minutes
Garrett Bradley works across documentary, narrative and experimental modes of filmmaking to explore realities of contemporary life and bring to light lost histories. Her growing body of work—including the recent documentary Time (2020), a stunning portrait of a family separated by the prison system—addresses ideas of race, class, family, social justice, Southern culture, and the history of film in the United States. America explores the legacy of silent films inspired by the recently rediscovered Bert Williams feature Lime Kiln Club Field Day (1913) in the archives of the Museum of Modern Art. The first known film to feature an all-Black cast, the film contemplates the lost lineage of African American cinema to suggest an inclusive world where Black beauty, joy and strength are eternal. Bradley describes America “as a template for how visual storytelling and the assembly of images can serve as an archive of the past and a document of the present.” The project reflects on the need to deal with the nation’s racist past and present, creating Black presence where there has been absence in the national memory to consider anew what it means to be American. America screens courtesy of the artist and Field of Vision.