I read about this fascinating exhibit yesterday and put it on my to-see list for my next trip to NYC, whenever that might be. That it’s so upsetting to a paleoconservative (which might as well be synonymous with “racist”) will be a bonus.
I wish I were close enough to go see this; it looks fabulous!
Thinking a lot about Space is the Place today.
A Sci-Fi, free jazz mash up of Bergman and Jodorowsky is quite literally a checklist of shit I’m into. But, somehow, I’d never heard of Space is the Place until it showed up on Criterion Channel’s Afro-futurist collection earlier this year. It blew my GD mind.
It blew my mind because it’s a great film.
But it also blew my mind because it feels like I should have know about the films existence sometime 25-30 years ago when I was in my early 20’s. Why the fuck is Sun Ra not on all the lists of cult cinema directors along side of Lynch, Waters, Passolini, Jodorowski and so on? I mean I do know why, and it sucks.
You think you have a handle on just how racist this country is. Then you stumble across a piece of art that is totally up your alley and realize the only real reason you don’t know about it is because the director was black.
Thinking about that a lot today. A day when the Overseer seems to be winning.
That review is a thing of beauty.
My favourite piece of Afrofuturism from last year was the album “Grey Doubt” by UK collective “The Colours That Rise” - one heck of a track here, album on your usual streaming services:
From their Bandcamp:
"Comprised of producer duo Simeon Jones and Nathanael Williams, The Colours That Rise have previously turned heads with 2017’s “2020” EP released on Breaker Breaker (the label credited with breaking Ross From Friends).
Returning with their most accomplished offering to date, “Grey Doubt” features acclaimed guests such as Yazmin Lacey, Yussef Dayes and Andrew Ashong, each respectively complementing the incredible musicianship on display here, capturing the true zeitgeist of present day UK. Combining live instrumentation and analogue synths, intricate, intertwining textures and melodies run deep throughout this beautifully crafted afrofuturist voyage, exploring the darkest recesses of the galaxy, through weatherbeaten and asteroid damaged synth waves and broken drum patterns reverberating out into the vastness of space.
The band explains: “We wanted to make an audio documentary with some music about a secret history, or what some people might call a conspiracy theory – that black people live on Mars. In a world full of creeping uncertainty about truth, half-truth and post-truth – no information or history can be trusted, not even the fabric of reality. So we’re just 2 guys with a broken tape machine and some information about a different world. Expect lo-fi electronic jams, 70’s funk, hip-hop and music to dance to.”"
From Dery’s piece:
if you value history, shouldn’t you value all histories?
the Cree artist Kent Monkman’s “Resurgence of the People” (2019), a high-camp send-up of Emanuel Leutze’s “Washington Crossing the Delaware” (1851) that replaces Washington’s soldiers with a boatload of Indigenous people and displaced migrants and the general himself with the artist’s gender-fluid, high-heel-wearing alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, whose name alone is enough to give Sewall fits.
Monkman’s paintings are awesome!
The riff on Washington:
Because he’s not a director? John Coney directed Space is the Place.
Old Man Yells At Art
Any time a critic chooses the word “dotard”, I’m in.
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