Nominated for a 2017 Oscar … because of the bad niggers we were.
And we know that, for the perpetuation of this system, we have all been mercilessly brutalized, and have been told nothing but lies, lies about ourselves and our kinsmen and our past, and about love, life, and death, so that both soul and body have been bound in hell.
It is the innocence that constitutes the crime.
I can’t be a pessimist because I’am alive.— James Baldwin
Imagine you are the articulate and incisiveJames Baldwin and three of your friends happen to be Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, and Malcom X, and all three of them are killed. You leave behind some revelatory notes about this “peculiar” situation… which remain untouched for forty years.
Imagine now that you are the talented and engaged Haitian filmmaker, Raoul Peck*, and you are exclusively privy to that writing and you manage to produce your film… independently.
NOTA BENE NEEDS TO STOP: the rich getting richer with the price of slavery still unaccounted for & the black community destroyed by poverty and violence & mass incarceration replacing slavery (see the other 2017 Oscar nominated documentary, 13th).
OUTRAGE, whether James Baldwin’s, Black Lives Matter’s, or any old way it chooses to flare up, is unavoidable.
We have been here before TOO MANY TIMES but they would like us to believe that something is “new.” A black president and a National Museum of African American History in DC have only made the brutality more visible.
Drowning in our own complacency and our distractions, we cannot whitewash history to erase the crimes. Guilty – because of the innocence.
World premiere at the Toronto international film Festival: Race and History – a conversation with Raoul Peck.
BREAK THE SURFACE
To ride the unbalance* between:
1. excellence and a kind, singular and porous identity that contains some of the scruples, humor, humility, musicality & the beauty of a harsh and confusing, yet benign and rich reality - away from distractions.
2. the stupidity and blindness of complacency, violence, injustice, pretense, egos, short-term... wishful... and group "thinking," and empty talk - in all of their surprising embodiments. And the false sense of fullness all of this provides.
An appeal for a world NOT so caught up in anthropo/ego/euro/ethno/oculo/esthetico -CENTRISM.
1. Beware of those who claim to be strong - they are often dangerous.
2. Unmask the hoax of "centrality" - ask an "EX-centric" for assistance?
3. Perceive the arrogance of normalcy: everybody, in one way or another, is handicapped... which brings us back to 1.
*Not unrelated to "There is beauty and there are the humiliated. Whatever difficulties the enterprise may present, I should like never to be unfaithful either to the second or the first." --- Albert Camus
___________________Screens Reveal AND Conceal
Presently the Unlearning Specialist at the School of No-Media, Pier Marton is a speaker/writer/artist/educator and film consultant. He was born and raised in Paris and moved to the U.S. in the early seventies to live and teach in Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco and, more recently, St. Louis. In parallel to teaching media at major universities, his many video-art activities have included video installations, performances and documentaries (with works in prominent museums like MoMA and Beaubourg).
Both as an artist and as a teacher much of his work has focused on our consumption of images which, because of his family history, has taken him into questioning the representation of the Shoah. After spending most of his life around the avant-garde of media (i.e., video art), now that new media offers more and more a form of pseudo-challenge to the status quo, Marton wonders whether it is “no-media” that needs to be considered the next frontier; can we look beyond media and most concepts, however "practical" those may appear to be?
He is available for presentations and workshops on:
Non-Images & No-Media - Slow Cinema - Shoah and Film- Experimental Cinema and Video Art - Film Painting in Sound/Movement - Non-Violent Media - Imperfection in Film - Unclassifiable Music/Arts - Blinded by Sight - The Shoah in 1,000 Years - A Porous Reality - Secular Jews (Broken Tablets and Broken Noses) - Taking it the Hard Way - Exhilarating Creativity - and anything else that may be ignored by society at large.
Remnants from recent presentations: Images of the Other (at the School of Visual Arts Alguonquin Annual Conference), Resistance (at an annual St. Louis Yom HaShoah/Holocaust Commemoration).