[Chicago Crossings: Bridges and Boundaries, reel 41]

A Kartemquin Films crew attending the Spertus Museum of Judaica's 1994 opening of "Bridges and Boundaries: Chicago Crossings" interviews artists and patrons alike, focusing in this tape on the work of Othello Anderson, Gerda Meyer-Bernstein, and Kerry James Marshall.

0:50Copy video clip URL Othello Anderson explains his decision to do a piece on Dr. Lester Skaggs. “He made a contribution to developing the atomic bomb, which ended WWII, which was a war about racial supremacy… I think that was one of the major blows to the idea of racial supremacy, and it sent a message to the world,” says Anderson.

3:16Copy video clip URL Anderson talks about his relationship with Skaggs and tells a short anecdote illustrating the tremendous amount of respect Skaggs’ colleagues had for him.

6:45Copy video clip URL Anderson quickly recognizes the intellectual, historical nature of the participating artists’ work before going on to elucidate his curatorial process and the problems they encountered along the way.

9:44Copy video clip URL Anderson responds to a question about the differences—or lack thereof—in the creative processes of Black and Jewish artists. “It would be interesting if I could come up with something and say ‘Well, you know Blacks work this way and Jews work this way—’ it doesn’t happen.”

10:55Copy video clip URL Anderson offers an explanation for why the show’s artists are so “unusually articulate” when talking about their work, referencing their high levels of education.

11:46Copy video clip URL B-roll shot of Anderson’s piece.

11:57Copy video clip URL A woman shares her thoughts on Meyer-Bernstein’s piece, The Phoenix. To her, the piece represents “broken dreams, broken memories, and pieces that can never be put back together the same way again.” However, when asked if this mean’s there’s no hope of reconciliation, the woman responds, “Wherever there’s life there’s hope… I don’t think it’s about hope, it’s more of a reality; a fascinating reality.” The woman then goes on to talk about her relationship to Judaism, her relationship with Esther Parada, her interest in genealogy, and a family quilt she is working on.

21:34Copy video clip URL B-roll footage of patrons in the gallery.

24:26Copy video clip URL A friend of Kerry James Marshall talks about Marshall’s piece. “To me it’s a real interesting work; hybridizing a number of different periods of history and iconography and how those work at a number of different levels,” he says.

26:56Copy video clip URL Marshall interjects, suggesting a possible reason for the gangs’ use of the star and recognizing the possibility that Jews could take offense to the gangs’ appropriation of the star.

29:06Copy video clip URL Marshall’s friend talks about his relationship with young gang members who “ride under” the stars. “How do you work with a young person about teaching them geography? Well, let them teach you about gang territories and then you overlay a new map on top of it… let them be the historians for you.”



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