11/4/21: Virtual Talks with Video Activists: “South” by Morgan Quaintance

Virtual screening/discussion of "South" by Morgan Quaintance, moderated by art historian Rebecca Zorach.

Thursday November 4th

1:00pm PT / 3:00pm CT / 4:00pm ET / 8:00pm GMT

Free, hour-long screening and discussion

A full replay of the 11/4 discussion. Note: The full film South is replaced here with the trailer.

On November 4th, Media Burn presented a screening of Morgan Quaintance‘s film South, followed by a discussion and Q&A moderated by art historian Rebecca Zorach.

Taking two anti-racist and anti-authoritarian liberation movements in London and Chicago as a point of departure, South presents an expressionistic investigation of the power of individual and collective voice. Interlinked with Quaintance’s own biography, the film also considers questions of mortality and the will to transcend a world typified by concrete relations.

“Morgan Quaintance’s South is a densely encoded and delicately poetic montage on the traditions of social justice movements and community organizing. The film delves into the peculiar histories of the anti-racist liberation movements in Chicago in 1968 and South London in 1986. South’s first chapter investigates the First Rainbow Coalition created by activists of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense Chicago branch and the Young Patriots Organization established by poor and displaced Southern white youth. The second part of South foregrounds the links between the South African Anti-Apartheid solidarity movement in London and the local anti-racist struggles that lead, amongst others, to the March of Freedom and a subsequent six hours long charity concert at Clapham Common.” (Viktor Neumann, VIDEONALE.18)

Still from South (Morgan Quaintance, 2020)

Morgan Quaintance is a London-based artist and writer. His moving image work has been shown and exhibited widely at festivals and institutions including: MOMA, New York; Images Festival, Toronto; and International Film Festival Rotterdam.

He is the recipient of the 2020 New Vision Award at CPH:DOX, Denmark and the 2020 Best Experimental Film award at Curtas Vila Do Conde, Portugal, both for the film South (2020) .

Over the past ten years, his critically incisive writings on contemporary art, aesthetics and their socio-political contexts, have featured in publications including Art Monthly, the Wire, and the Guardian, and helped shape the landscape of discourse and debate in the UK. A key reference here is his 2017 text The New Conservatism: Complicity and the UK Art World’s Performance of Progression, available here: https://conversations.e-flux.com

Recommended pre/post event viewing is Quaintance’s film Letter from Dakar (2019, 47 min), which surveys aspects of the vibrant grass roots arts and culture scene in the Senegalese capital of Dakar. Highlighting the difference between the openess and innovation of community run spaces versus the staid professionalism of established galleries and museums, the film offers the first critical look at the much touted Museum of Black Civilisations. The film can be screened here: https://morganquaintance.com/2019/04/04/batakhalou-dakar-2019/

Rebecca Zorach is the Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History at Northwestern University. She teaches and writes on early modern European art (15th-17th century), contemporary activist art, and art of the 1960s and 1970s. Particular interests include print media, feminist and queer theory, theory of representation, African American artists, and the multiple intersections of art and politics.

Before joining the faculty at Northwestern she taught at the University of Chicago for fourteen years. Her book Art for People’s Sake: Artists and Community in Black Chicago, 1965–1975 was released by Duke University Press in 2019. She is at work on a new project that will consider the relationship of artistic and political agency to natural and social ecologies. She is a member of Feel Tank Chicago, is on the board of the South Side Community Art Center and South Side Projections, and co-organizes the archive and oral history project Never The Same with Daniel Tucker (never-the-same.org).



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