Avant-Noir

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 6:00p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N. State St.
Chicago, IL
United States
2_20 - Baloji, still from Zombies, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Sudu Connexion.jpg
Baloji, still from Zombies, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Sudu Connexion.

Conceived by Belgrade-based curator Greg de Cuir Jr. as an “intervention into the status quo,” Avant-Noir brings together contemporary films and videos by international artists of African descent to showcase visual representations of Black cultures in their many complexities. Part of a much larger project of iterative screenings and exhibitions, this special edition spotlights works from the last two years. Baloji’s stunning Zombies (2019) is both an Afrofuturist music video and satire of digital consumer culture. Ayo Akingbade’s poetic A is for Artist (2018) charts the artist's growing political consciousness. Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich’s A Quality of Light (2019) is an Afrosurrealist portrait of the artist’s composer grandmother. Edgar Arceneaux’s Until, Until, Until… (2017–18) probes the history of African American representation on stage and screen through the bifocal lens of Broadway actor Ben Vereen and vaudeville star Bert Williams, America’s first mainstream Black entertainer.

2017–19, multiple directors, multiple countries, multiple formats, ca 90 minutes followed by discussion.

Curator Greg de Cuir Jr. and artist Edgar Arceneaux in person

Greg de Cuir Jr. is an independent curator, writer, and translator who lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia. Curatorial projects include the Black Light retrospective at the 72nd Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland (2019); Kevin Jerome Everson, The Abstract Ideal at the Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina in Novi Sad, Serbia (2019); 21st Century Žilnik at Close-Up Film Centre and LUX in London; the 64th annual Robert Flaherty Film Seminar in Hamilton, New York (with Kevin Jerome Everson, 2018); Affinities, or The Weight of Cinema (with Kevin Jerome Everson) at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2018), among many others. De Cuir is managing editor of the journal NECSUS (Amsterdam University Press), editor of the Eastern European Screen Cultures book series (Amsterdam University Press), and member of the editorial board of the Experimental Film and Artists' Moving Image book series (Palgrave Macmillan). His essays have been published in Cineaste, Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, Millennium Film Journal, ARTMargins, and Politika, among others. Since 2008 he has worked as selector for Alternative Film/Video Festival in Belgrade. 

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Greg de Cuir Jr. 

Edgar Arceneaux