[Chicago Crossings: Bridges and Boundaries, ITVS Sample]

chicago-crossings-bridges-boundaries-itvs-sample-2

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An early rough cut of the documentary created concerning the Spertus Museum of Judaica's 1992 exhibition "Bridges and Boundaries."

0:53Copy video clip URL Color bars & tone, then black screen.

1:53Copy video clip URL Edith Altman talks about her current plans for the exhibition. She talks about the images of three-year-old children she wants to use along with the idea that “children don’t learn to hate until they’re three years of age.” She gestures at the images of the children, “So this is a very—get ’em young!”

2:50Copy video clip URL At a roundtable meeting, a woman from the museum talks about the Black–Jewish issue being viewed by many outside communities as “a ‘Family Matters’ problem.” She does not think that other groups are very concerned with these issues.

3:12Copy video clip URL Marva Jolly says she never even really heard about Jews until she was a young adult and she didn’t know that there was a problem because it never came up in her communities.

3:34Copy video clip URL Othello Anderson says he has worked with the black community for years and has never heard Jews come up.

3:44Copy video clip URL John Pitman Weber says he believes that for whites, race sometimes functions as a way to ignore or compartmentalize problems, and that social problems “become a code word for ‘blacks,'” and so he is trying to find some way to represent the barriers in our ability to see or understand.

4:52Copy video clip URL Anderson says he’s more interested in the artistic side. “I’m not really trying to make some kind of social commentary.” He just hopes that people come away thinking it was a good art show, and laughs at the idea that it would “solve the problems of the world.”

5:23Copy video clip URL Sonny Venice (pseudonym of Hamza Walker) is shown holding the November 18, 1993 issue of Time while maintaining that the creators of the cover have mistaken the idea of diversity with homogeneous blending.

5:58Copy video clip URL All twelve artists are seated around a table discussing Louis Farrakhan, leader of the religious group Nation of Islam. Jolly argues that the anti-Semitic views expressed by Farrakhan are “not an issue in my house, so don’t come to my neighborhood with that.” She goes on to say, “Let the people who need to deal with denouncing that do it.” Anderson claims it seems to be a problem between the Anti-Defamation League and Farrakhan, rather than all Jews and blacks. James Kerry Marshall argues that “it starts to expand” and take on larger issues. Rozelle argues that people “may not be as articulate in terms of referencing facts, but they know what their feelings are… and that’s why Farrakhan can touch them in certain kinds of ways.”

7:12Copy video clip URL Esther Parada is shown manipulating photographs of Marshall. “Let’s go for the Michael Jackson effect,” Marshall jokes, met by a rouse of laughter.

8:08Copy video clip URL Claire Wolf Krantz talks about how she was “much more sensitized to myself as a victim than as myself as a perpetrator, until I got involved with this project.” She talks about how her position as a minority affected her growing up in this country.

8:30Copy video clip URL Gerda Meyer-Bernstein says she feels like it’s very hard to have this dialogue, because “the blacks are full of anger and the Jews are full of guilt and we’ve got 400 years of Black slavery and we’ve got 2,000 years of Jewish persecution, and [so] it’s going to be a super-difficult thing to try to have this process of healing.”

8:58Copy video clip URL Meyer-Bernstein is shown working with glass in her studio. She talks about her approach to how she’s creating her piece, which features large shards of glass, painted black and white and piled onto the floor.

9:58Copy video clip URL A shot of the computer screen as Parade prepares to manipulate digital images of Marshall and Wolf Krantz. “Anyway, that’s static at this point. The blending is a whole other thing.”

10:14Copy video clip URL Joel Feldman talks about how racism is used as a political tool.

10:42Copy video clip URL Jolly says, “It has become almost a tabloid kind of issue, which I think is most unfortunate.” She feels there’s a lot said that doesn’t have much substance, “but [there’s] a lot of pain connected to it.” She also mentions there isn’t the same sense of Holocaust with black people, which makes it hard to talk about shared sufferings.

11:22Copy video clip URL The film cuts to Altman alone with her installation where she indirectly responds to Jolly’s previous claim. Altman alludes to an Illinois Assembly meeting in which the word “holocaust” was mentioned in reference to the “Black holocaust,” in which “100 million Black Africans… that had died, that had been squeezed on the boats, the children and the adults, just like the Jews were squeezed in the trains. I share with them, unfortunately, the holocaust,” Altman says.

12:23Copy video clip URL Morrie Fred says he’s curious about what this discussion will be in an art space. “How can art add to the social dialogue or discourse?”