Whitney Screens:
David Hartt and WangShui

FRI, July 24, 2020
7 pm

Online, via Vimeo

Engage with video art from the Museum's collection while you’re at home with Whitney Screens. This week's screening will present two films: David Hartt's Stray Light (2011) and WangShui's From Its Mouth Came a River of High-End Residential Appliances (2018). 

David Hartt’s Stray Light depicts the iconic modernist headquarters of the Johnson Publishing Company built in 1971 in downtown Chicago by the African American architect John Moutoussamy. Through compiled stationary camera shots overlaid with a soundtrack by flutist and composer Nicole Mitchell, the film traces the interior spaces of this storied building, a portrait of their ongoing use and of the aesthetic context in which the Johnson Publishing Company’s influential Jet and Ebony magazines were produced.

In WangShui’s From Its Mouth Came a River of High-End Residential Appliances a camera flies through a “dragon-gate” hole at the center of a luxury high-rise complex in Hong Kong. The gateway asserts the ancient practice of feng shui, banned in China after the Cultural Revolution. Its void, allowing mythical dragons to drink the water in the South China Sea beyond, represents a resistance to both western rationalism and ideological control. As the camera flies through the gateway, the narrator reflects on the non-fixity of identity that this defiance evokes. 

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