Mickalene Thomas: Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman: A Portrait of My Mother (still)
Jumana Manna, Mickalene Thomas, Susanna Wallin
The Poetics of Unforgetting
Introduced by David Gryn, Artprojx
Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare Street, London E8 1HE
Thursday 6th June 2013
Blessed Blessed Oblivion
Mickalene Thomas: Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman: A Portrait of My Mother
Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman: A Portrait of My Mother
Susanna Wallin: Echo Park (still)
Artprojx Presents at Hackney Picturehouse is a new series of monthly screenings of artists film and video works. Launching with films by three brilliant young international contemporary artists – whose films will linger in your memory long after viewing.
Tickets: Call 0871 902 5734 or visit Hackney Picturehouse website
Twitter @Artprojx @HackneyPH @ArtprojxCinema
All three artists have made films, that I have not been able to forget ever since first viewing them. Manna’s Blessed Blessed Oblivion (along with Wallin’s Echo Park) was screened at the Art Video section I selected for Art Basel in Miami Beach 2012 and it was one of the most memorable and complete films I have shown. Susanna Wallin’s film Marker I screened at the Prince Charles Cinema, London several years ago in association with Film London, and somehow it has never left my thoughts and then Mickalene Thomas, whose work I have not screened before this. Last year, I was sent Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman, by her producer, Tanya Selvaratnam and by her gallery Lehmann Maupin in NY, I was deeply moved and I wanted to find a way that I could present it. So here we go.
Blessed Blessed Oblivion by Jumana Manna
Inspired by Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising (1963), BLESSED BLESSED OBLIVION weaves together a portrait of male thug culture in East Jerusalem, manifested in barbershops, auto shops and bodybuilding. At the same time psychologizing and seduced by her subject, the artist finds herself in a double bind, a dilemma that resonates with the muddled desire that animates her protagonist as he drifts from abject rants to declamations of heroic poetry or unashamed self-praise.
Jumana Manna (born in New Jersey, lives and works in Jerusalem and Berlin) uses primarily film/video and sculpture to explore historical narratives, nationalism and subcultural communities. Her films are attempts at weaving together portraits of morally dubious characters or events, and her sculptural practice employs a language of minimalism and abstraction to reformulate familiar objects into a state of ambiguity, navigating between negation and seduction. Jumana Manna is represented by CRG Gallery, New York.
Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman by Mickalene Thomas
Internationally acclaimed artist Mickalene Thomas presented her first documentary film “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN” during her solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in Fall 2012. The film is a celebration of Thomas’s mother and muse, Sandra Bush, who has been the subject of numerous photographs and paintings by the artist. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” explores Sandra’s memories and dreams, her life experiences, including her personal struggles and recent illness, and her hopes for the present and future. Her interviews are filled with poignancy, and old photographs and recordings of Sandra singing with her family add texture to this intimate portrait of “Mama Bush.”
Mickalene Thomas was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1971. She earned her MFA from Yale University and holds a BFA from Pratt Institute. In 2002-2003, she participated in the Artist-in-Residence program at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and most recently, was a resident at the Versailles Foundation Munn Artists Program in Giverny, France (2011).
Marker & Echo Park by Susanna Wallin
Marker: One thousand reindeer are left running wild in the northern woods of Sweden. They once belonged to Anna-Sara’s dad. In an act to take care of what has been in order for something new to be able to start, she goes out to find them. Set on the periphery of a Sami community, in the middle of the night, the film follows Anna-Sara on her journey towards Reindeer Dell in Kraja. Marker is an impressionistic narrative on loss and imagination: a calling for someone who is gone, in an act to continue where something stopped. Characters are situated between real scenarios and invented ones, past and present. Funded by Arts Council England with the support of Film London’s Artists Moving Image Network.
Echo Park: Set inside a theme park, the film combines several amusement rides into one audio visual experience of time. Funded by FLAMIN London, The Arts Council England and Channel 4. Set inside an amusement park, entertainment is explored in an attempt to shut out thought.
Susanna Wallin’s work often lends from fact and fiction at once, merging actual scenarios with fictive ones in new narratives on screen. Ritual, dream and a distrust in language are some of her recurring themes. She has been the recipient of a number of commissions and awards, including London Artists Film and Video Award, The Jury Price at Clermont Ferrand and commissions from UK Film Council, Channel 4 and Arts Council England. Originally from Sweden, she lives and works in London and New York.
See FAZ http://www.faz.net/
David Gryn / Artprojx overview
Artprojx, founded and directed by David Gryn, screens, curates, selects and promotes artists’ moving image and other projects, working with leading contemporary art galleries, art fairs, institutes and artists worldwide. Artprojx is a renowned and trusted brand in the artworld, a pop-up gallery space, pop up cinema, a special events team, arts fundraising, marketing, strategy and planning organisation.
Artprojx clients/partners include Art Basel in Miami Beach, MOCAtv, Royal College of Psychiatrists, 3d in Vebier, Hackney Picturehouse, Gagosian, White Cube, Camden Arts Centre, Lisson Gallery, Whitney Museum NY, Tate Britain, ICA, Frieze Art Fair, The Armory Show NY and Hamburg Short Film Festival. Artists screening events have included Christian Marclay, Dara Friedman, Santiago Sierra, Mark Wallinger, Susan Hiller, Christian Jankowski, Jumana Manna, Rashaad Newsome, Tracey Emin, Dexter Dalwood, Jeremy Deller, Wilhelm Sasnal, Grace Ndiritu, Luke Fowler and many more.