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Drawing inspiration from Pittsburgh’s famed amusement park, The Luna Park Experimental Film & Media Series celebrates play, inquiry, and the transgression of accepted boundaries of medium and genre in the moving image. Drawing on diverse curatorial perspectives, the series presents new and rarely-seen works by artists testing form and social, cultural, and political structures. LUNA 2018 features programs curated by Staycee Pearl, Audra Wist, D.W. Anselmo, Suzie Silver and Hilary Harp, with screenings accompanied by workshops and performances by established and emerging artists.
Curated by Staycee Pearl
Saturday, February 17, 12:00pm-5:00pm
$14 whole day / $7 workshop OR screening
12:00-2:00pm - JOINT WORKSHOP, Filmmakers Sound Stage
Artists each lead 15-20 minute workshops teaching process in a form related to their screened works. Writing, movement, storytelling, technique.
2:00pm- OPENING RECEPTION, Melwood Screening Room Lobby
3:00pm - SCREENING, Melwood Screening Room
4:30-5:00pm - ARTISTS TALK, Melwood Screening Room
Moderated by Staycee Pearl and guest Deesha Philyaw
A series of short-films featuring 4 black women artists who create work featuring the black female body in motion. Corinne Spencer, Allana Clarke, Alisha Wormsley, and Jasmine Hearn screen their work in an evening of viewing and conversation. Historically, the black female body is missing from visual interpretations of beauty and femininity. Black bodies are sometimes fetishized and all too often misrepresented. FEM_bodied artists share their own perspectives as black women by telling their own stories featuring themselves, their bodies, and the bodies of other black women while contrasting other perspectives, races and genders.
Connie Spencer's work is rooted in the black feminine body as it moves through space, unbound by time and history. She seeps below the surface of time and the rind of history to move inward; the body becomes the vehicle through which she excavates the universe and its mysteries, profanities, and magic—a path into the rich tensions and contradictions of the interior landscape. She works with these tensions of artifice and authenticity, fantasy and reality, violence and desire, the mythological and the mundane to create sensuous, tactile work which places both movement and material at its center.
HUNGER is an evening length video-poem performed by two black women in an immersive, sculptural installation. The performance weaves together video projection, spoken and sung text, choreographed movement, and dense soundscapes to dissolve the boundaries between past and present, land and body, inner and outer, self and the world; seeing in these border-crossings the promise of homecoming and liberation. Participants in Connie's workshop will be lead through a meditative, somatic exercise in which they are invited to deeply drop into their bodies to experience the subtle sensations. They will use this experience, sensing into the subtle movements of energy as a starting place to explore images which become the seeds of creative expression.
Jasmine Hearn is a Bronx based choreographer, performer, and dancer. A native Houstonian, she graduated magna cum laude from Point Park University with her B.A. in Dance. Jasmine travels around the world to showcase her choreographic work and to participate in multidisciplinary collaborations. Currently, she is a collaborator with Alisha B. Wormsley, David Dorfman Dance, and Tara Aisha Willis.
Jasmine's project MEMORY KEEP(H)ER is a collaboration with her grandmother, Claudette Johnson. Excavating a practice of sharing and preserving story and memory, the first iteration of MEMORY KEEP(H)ER was performed as a 45 minute live performance piece, later accompanied by seven short videos made by Paul Kruse and Jasmine Hearn. These videos act as alternative archives as Jasmine's grandmother begins to lose her memory. In Jasmine's workshop, "the body as archive," she will guide participants through a seven minute guided movement exploration, where they will connect with their lungs, heart, and imagination in order to move the body in its accessible range. In pairs, each person will share their story with their partner. Using the other person's story, each participant will come up with a series of gestures and share these with the group.
Allana's artistic practice speaks to discomfort. As a first generation Trinidadian immigrant, perceived as African American, she did not understand the nuances of racial politics in American culture; she wasn't raised by the burdens or concept of blackness, but the burden was placed on her public self. This friction made her aware of the daily performances of our categorical existences, and the cultural signifiers we activate through our bodies and align ourselves with. Is it possible to un-align signs from their signifiers, and embrace the disorientation caused by such an action? This ideological thread is the basis for her work. Fluidly moving through video, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and performance, the research aspects of her practice incorporate colonial, post-colonial, cultural criticism, political, and art historical texts.
Allana will screen Propositions of Questionable Intent (2016) and You Belong to Nothing and Nothing Belongs to You (2017). Her workshop will focus on how performance art allows us to consciously examine the latent, and how we become aware of how we use our bodies and how our bodies affect others. Participent will use their body as a means of expression to explore some of the formal elements of action and performance art: space, time, and presence.
Alisha is an interdisciplinary artist. Her work is about collective memory and the synchronicity of time periods. She recognizes past, present and future happening simultaneously, with a deep focus on black women and their mythology, mysticism and survival.
Alisha's projects are Children of NAN, a metaphor for the survival and power of black women that uses science fiction tropes, historical and anthropological narrative, and origin mythology of race, mysticism and gender; The People Are the Light, a time-based series of installations, workshops and performances (including a film and photography series made from the events) that focuses on black women healing, making and imagining future in an environment surviving the past; and the space I'm in, a print series about black women in and out of urban areas, asking "what is erasure and what is a conjuring?", how those lines might overlap, and how attached can we be in these spaces. Alisha's workshop will deal with green screen video, breaking down a concept into phrases, then breaking into small groups, choosing a concept and creating a movement for it. Together the groups will film these movements and composite the green screen video onto pre-recorded backgrounds.