In the shadow of the Hollywood dream factory, there’s always been a Black cinema, a ghost dance, a dream deferred. This is Black cinema as an emergent phenomena (“anacinema” in Fred Moten’s formulation) always in process, always extinguished, always coming into being. This is a cinema locked in a death spiral with the thwarted nature of Black potentiality.
Rashida Bumbray, Elissa Blount Moorhead, and Arthur Jafa, present for Flux night, APEX redacted, a projected scenario that’s both an emanation of an actualized Black cinema and a dark aria to its very impossibility.
APEX redacted takes as a given a world in which black lives don’t matter in ways paradoxically bound up with the very sustainability of life on earth, and the rarely articulated fear of a black planet driving our current descent.
A startling and sobering look at what may be just beyond the boundaries of the exhausted imaginings of Hollywood cinema. All in the service of an emergent Black cinema as central (culturally, socially, and economically) to the 21st century as Black music was to the 20th.
About the Artist
Visual Artist, Filmmaker, Cinematographer, TNEG founder, Arthur Jafa was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and grew up in Clarksdale. Renowned for his cinematography on Julie Dash’s path breaking film Daughters of the Dust (1992), Jafa, also the film’s co-producer, put into practice techniques he had long been theorizing. ‘Black Visual Intonation’ is but one of his radical notions about re- conceptualizing film. Jafa was the director of photography on Spike Lee’s Crooklyn (1994), Isaac Julien’s Darker Shade of Black (1994), A Litany for Survival (1995), Ada Gay Griffin and Michelle Parkerson’s biographical film on the late Audre Lorde, John Akomfrah’s Seven Songs for Malcolm X (1993), Manthia Diawara’s Rouch in Reverse (2000), Nefertite Nguvu’s In the Morning (2014) and most recently, he shot second unit on Ava DuVernay’s Selma (2014). Dreams are Colder Than Death, a documentary directed and shot by Jafa for ZDF, garnered acclaim at the LA Film Festival, NY Film Festival and Black Star Film Festival where it won Best Documentary.
Elissa Blount Moorhead
Elissa Blount Moorhead is a Producer, Curator, and Lecturer. She is a partner (with Arthur Jafa and Malik Sayeed) in the film studio TNEG, designed to create a Black Cinema as culturally, socially, and economically central to the 21st century as was black music to the 20th century. She has produced public art events, gallery exhibitions, films, and education programs for 25 years. She created the Cultural Pluralism course for Pratt Institute’s Graduate School in 1999 and currently teaches at Parsons Graduate School of Design. She co-founded Red Clay Arts in NYC where she curated/produced over 20 groundbreaking exhibitions and multimedia projects in NYC, Europe, the Caribbean, and beyond. As Weeksville Heritage Center’s Director of Design, Programming and Exhibitions (2007- 2013) she developed the performance, education, exhibition, and programming slate. She served as co-curator of the multi-site project in partnership with NYC’s Creative Time, FunkGodJazzMedicine: A Black Radical Brooklyn which launched in Fall 2014. She currently works as curatorial advisor for The Contemporary in Baltimore and was appointed by Mayor Rawlings-Blake to serve as Public Arts Commissioner in 2015.
Rashida Bumbray is a curator and choreographer living and working in New York. She is currently guest curator at Creative Time for the public art exhibition Funk,God, Jazz and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn. From 2006 to 2011, Bumbray was Associate Curator at The Kitchen, where she organized several critically acclaimed projects and commissions, including solo exhibitions by Leslie Hewitt, Simone Leigh, Adam Pendleton, and Mai Thu Perret as well as performances by Derrick Adams, Sanford Biggers, Kalup Linzy, and Mendi & Keith Obadike. Bumbray has commissioned new-music concert works at The Kitchen by such artists as Alicia Hall-Moran, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Marc Cary and Guillermo E. Brown and dance works by Kyle Abraham, Camille A. Brown and Jason Samuels Smith. Bumbray’s choreographic work, Run Mary Run, was on The New York Times’ list of Best Concerts for 2012 and was most recently performed as part of Jason Moran and Alicia Hall Moran’s BLEED at the 2012 Whitney Biennial.
More about Rashida Bumbray: www.rashidabumbray.com
TNEG™, a motion picture studio led by Malik Sayeed (founder) and Arthur Jafa (founder) and Elissa Blount Moorhead (partner) is “modeled on the production philosophies of Motown, Pixar, and Dogme.” TNEG’s principal aim is the creation a black cinema “capable of matching the power, beauty and alienation of black music.” TNEG’stheoretical propositions concerning black cinema imagine “not just new narratives but new aesthetics, new technical parameters, new intensities,” all in the service of an emergent “black cinema as central (culturally, socially, and economically) to the 21st century as was black music to the 20th century.”