18th Street Arts Center’s Virtual Gala 2020
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18th Street Arts Center presents its annual benefit event, a virtual evening of performance, video arts, and experimental film. Curated by Jheanelle Brown, the evening will present a series of future visions through the eyes of artists and filmmakers in a live virtual experience. The program includes:
7:00pm – Live interactive ritual performance with Ulysses S. Jenkins*
7:30pm – we may seek cosmic marronage but let’s remember our terrestrial obligations – a film program curated by Jheanelle Brown
8:30pm – Curator Q&A with artists
Artists in the film program include: Kitoko Diva, Yétundé Olagbaju, Jamilah Sabur, Larry Achiampong, Keisha Rae Witherspoon, Tabita Rezaire, and Nkechi Ebubedike.
The film program, curated by Jheanelle Brown, will feature a suite of emerging and established artists working in experimental film and video art. Brown’s curatorial framing centers around the question: “how can the future move beyond the intangible?” As she describes, “The past and the present have been and are an unending assault against Black being and thus looking past survival requires deep wells of emotional and intellectual capacity. Where are we safe? This question has led Black people to look towards the cosmos for an unknown salvation or to understand more deeply our origin. Whilst flight or cosmic marronage can facilitate our imaginative rigor, it is important to not abandon our terrestrial obligations.”
“The filmmakers herein present systems of knowledge that disrupt temporal convention, but are based in rigorous historical examination. The films and videos in this program deconstruct perceived truths and gesture towards the potential for remaking those truths in service of Black self-determination and a liberatory future.”
The program will kick off with an interactive performance created by Ulysses S. Jenkins just for this event, and will end with a live Zoom Q&A with curator Jheanelle Brown and several of the filmmakers who are participating in the screening.
Ticketholders in LA County will receive a selection of performance objects to be used in the interactive performance piece, as well as bespoke drinks by Muddle & Wilde and a dessert box by Southern Girls Dessert to be enjoyed at the screening. These will be hand-delivered on the day of the event. Ticketholders at higher levels will also receive an annual membership to the exclusive Borderless program, a new offering which includes live curated virtual experiences with artists and cutting-edge art spaces around the world.
The event will benefit 18th Street Arts Center’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic to enhance the resiliency of artists and working families during this unprecedented time. Through their Arts Learning Lab online workshops for families, community-engaged artist commissions, timely exhibitions, and artist professional development programs, the Center supports artists and community members to find connection, support, and resources through the arts to foster positive social change.
ABOUT ULYSSES S. JENKINS
Ulysses Jenkins is a widely recognized video/performance artist, whose work has been shown in a number of national and international venues. His 1983 video “Cake Walk” was part of Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, which originated at the Tate Modern. Jenkins’ work was also featured in America is Hard to See (2015) at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Watch This! Revelations in Media Art (2015) at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, A/wake in the Water (2014) at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn, Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 (2012) at the Hammer Museum, Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (2012), and at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, California Video (2008) a major survey of the art form curated by the Getty Museum.
Jenkins was the recipient of the California Arts Council’s Multicultural Entry Grant as artistic director of Othervisions Studio, an interdisciplinary media arts production group. He is a three-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ individual artist fellowship and was awarded the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame first place award in the experimental video category in 1990 and 1992. Jenkins is currently a professor in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine and continues to show his work nationally and internationally.
ABOUT JHEANELLE BROWN
Jheanelle Brown is a film curator/programmer, educator, and arts administrator based in Los Angeles whose curatorial practice creates frameworks to explore the boundlessness of Black life in experimental and non-fiction film and video. She is interested in the space between fugitivity and futurity and elevating an ethic of care, with special interest in the sonic in film, political film and media, and West Indian film/video. Jheanelle is a board member and an associate programmer for Los Angeles Filmforum. She is currently on faculty at California Institute of the Art and Otis College of Art and Design, as well as curriculum developer for the Centennial High School film club.