PRIZM 2020

NOIR, NOIR: MEDITATIONS ON AFRICAN CINEMA AND  ITS INFLUENCE ON VISUAL ART

“I think cinema is needed throughout Africa because we are lagging behind in the knowledge of our own history. I think we need to create a culture that is our own.” -Ousmane Sembene

The advent of Covid-19 reignited a conflagration of dormant transgressions that were hidden under the thin veil of advancement and progress, never truly extinguished, singeing the fabric of an already threadbare moral flag flying tenuously in the winds of history. As we’ve attempted time and time again to blanket ourselves from a host of incessant obstacles – systemic injustice, racism, economic disparity, gender inequality – the goal post of progress magically moved farther away with each giant leap we make towards it.

Ultimately the loss of life of thousands of African descendants has heralded a mandatory denouncing of current and past atrocities committed against the global African community. From this vantage point we revisit and contemplate the rendering of our complex and layered communal histories through the lens of African/Diasporic filmmakers past and present, and a deeper understanding of global African identity by evaluating its intersections with contemporary visual art. We’ll also examine how these films have functioned as harbingers of global African/Diasporic liberation movements.

Noir, Noir: Meditations on African Cinema and its influence on Visual Art, through the lens of selected works by contemporary visual artists from global locales, will expound the intersections between contemporary visual artists’ practice and the spectrum of African/Diasporic film traditions. In referencing the African avant-garde film tradition as well as contemporary African/Diasporic filmmakers, we will explore how visual artists have created bodies of work inspired by narratives, aesthetics, cultural notes, and social commentaries poetically rendered in the various cinematic modalities.

Details of two of five works included in this years Prizm Art Fair.

detail of “no contact I” 2019 9 x 12 collage on paper N. Masani Landfair
detail of “no contact” 2018 9 x 12 collage on paper N. Masani Landfair

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