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BAM and Black Portraiture[s]: Responding to Garrett Bradley’s America

Wed, Oct 16, 2019
  • 7PM
RUN TIME: 90min
MEMBERS: $8 (free for Level 4 and above)
+  Post-screening panel discussion with Racquel Gates, Michael B. Gillespie & Nicole R. Fleetwood
October 2019
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Wednesday October 16, 2019
Performances no longer available.

In this special one-night event, a selection of leading moving image scholars reflect on the historical and contemporary significance of the sumptuous images and compelling themes offered up by Garrett Bradley’s new short America. This in-depth discussion is in partnership with—and a precursor to—the conference “Black Portraiture[s]: V Memory and the Archive Past. Present. Future.,” taking place at New York University (Oct 17—19). The post- screening panel discussion includes Racquel Gates, Associate Professor, Department of Media Culture, College of Staten Island, CUNY; Michael B. Gillespie, Associate Professor of Film at the City College of New York; Nicole R. Fleetwood, Professor of American Studies and Art History, Rutgers University.


Dir. Garrett Bradley
With Donna Crump, Edward Spots
2019, 30min, DCP

Taking as its starting point the recently rediscovered Bert Williams feature Lime Kiln Club Field Day (1913)—the first known film to feature an all-Black cast—Garrett Bradley’s extraordinary new short imagines an entire lost lineage of African-American cinema, where images of Black joy, strength, and beauty live on forever in a free-floating celluloid dream space. Shot in gorgeously poetic black and white and set to an intricately layered audio collage, America is an ecstatic sensory experience that rewrites our visual history in the name of Black empowerment.

An Aubin Pictures production. Produced by Lauren Domino and Catherine Gund.








Garrett Bradley
Garrett Bradley

Garrett Bradley’s multimedia work draws together broad themes of oppression and conflict with a particular emphasis on place and location. Across a body of moving-image productions that blend elements of documentary and fiction, cinema and video art, Bradley’s camera situates wider themes in the minute textures of the everyday, exploring her subjects’ struggles and dreams and rooting the sociopolitical in personal and physical experience. Bradley consistently locates her subjects in particular places—frequently her home city of New Orleans—that become sites of a confrontation between personal narratives and larger historical and political ones.

Garrett Bradleys America
Michael Boyce Gillespie

Michael Boyce Gillespie is a film professor at The City College of New York (CUNY). Author of Film Blackness: American Cinema and the Idea of Black Film (2016), he is co-editor of Dimensions in Black: Perspectives on Black Film and Media, a special dossier for Film Quarterly (Winter 2017); and Black One Shot, an art criticism series devoted to black visual and expressive culture (Summer 2018). A Dodgers fan, always.

Garrett Bradleys America
Nicole R. Fleetwood

Nicole R. Fleetwood is Professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is a writer, curator, and art critic whose interests are contemporary black diasporic art and visual culture, photography studies, art and public practice, performance studies, gender and feminist studies, black cultural history, creative nonfiction, prison abolition and carceral studies, and poverty studies.

Garrett Bradleys America
Racquel Gates

Racquel Gates is an Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the College of Staten Island, CUNY. Her research focuses on blackness and popular culture, with special attention to discourses of taste and quality. She is the author of Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture (Duke, 2018). Some of her work appears in Film Quarterly, Television & New Media, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, as well as other journals and collections.

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