Media City Film Festival launches a new online exhibition space this month, Dark Dark Gallery, with its inaugural show Radical Acts of Care, curated by Greg de Cuir Jr. (Belgrade, Serbia), and organized and designed by MCFF director Oona Mosna. The exhibition is available in full open access August 26–September 26, 2020: RADICAL ACTS OF CARE
Radical Acts of Care offers audiences a multidisciplinary experience, bringing together moving image artworks, photography, drawing, performance, poetry, activism, and more, all from an incredible roster of international artists. Curator Greg de Cuir Jr. describes this program as "a modest survey of past and contemporary mobilizations of care in various forms," an exhibition that "is concerned with radical praxis, and care as an agent for social change."
Among many international gems, Radical Acts of Care features a newly minted digital restoration by the Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna of celebrated Iranian poet and film director Forough Farrokhzad's The House is Black (1962). This masterpiece, created while the director lived in a leper colony in Tabriz, Iran, is available to view in North America courtesy of Janus Films / The Criterion Collection.
Madeline Anderson's powerful film I Am Somebody (1970) records the struggles of 400 Black female hospital workers during their strike in Charleston, North Carolina in 1969. The film was recently named to the Library of Congress's National Film Registry and has been preserved by the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. Completed in 2019, artist Simone Leigh's Untitled (M*A*S*H), also on view, foregrounds the Black female experience drawn from the legacies of revolutionary organizations, including the United Order of Tents, a secret society of Black women nurses founded during the Underground Railroad era.
In addition, Radical Acts of Care presents a multitude of artworks and interventions undertaken during the first months of lockdown, including celebrated multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker Cauleen Smith's COVID Manifesto (2020), and the world premiere of a 24-track album Something in Return by South African duo Marietjie Pauw and Garth Erasmus. Legendary poet Audre Lorde, animator and moving image artist Kelly Gallagher, and the transnational collective Pirate Care are also featured, as well as a program of audio talks from Taylor Renee Aldridge, Jessica Lynne, Cauleen Smith, and Lady Phe0nix.
An urgent intervention, Radical Acts of Care engages in the current moment, but with a long historical consciousness. To borrow words from the indelible poetry of Farrokhzad, this show "cuts a window," to ultimately speak of the "end of darkness."
About Media City Film Festival
Media City Film Festival is an international festival of film and digital art, presented in Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan since 1994. MCFF's Dark Dark Gallery is a space where filmmakers, curators, and other practitioners can explore concepts and thematic exhibitions that connect with the history of experimental cinema and contemporary moving image art. Dark Dark is also an avenue through which audiences can access special MCFF programming online.
MCFF is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Knight Arts Foundation, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, along with support from private donors, sponsors, members, audiences, artists, and viewers like you! Image credit: Madeline Anderson, I Am Somebody (left), and Forough Farrokhzad The House is Black (right).