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Few filmmakers build on the intimacy of the gaze like RaMell Ross, who is part of the new wave of artists working with the documentary form to reveal the inner logic of relationships through careful observation and aesthetic innovation. It’s for this reason that his 2018 film Hale County This Morning, This Evening was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Ross’s new short, Easter Snap, presented by Field of Vision, journeys to the Deep South, where we meet Johnny Blackmon, who is helping to resurrect the homestead ritual of hog processing.
The film begins with a large pig wrapped in a distinctively American blanket, as a team of five men prepare the animal with careful consideration. Ross’s ability to frame each scene with precision and win the trust of his subjects is one of his extraordinary talents. The camera never quite disappears, as we’re made conscious of its presence, power, and the limits of its lens, but neither is Ross detached; he places down the camera to react when one of the men ends up on his back. Such humanity is central to so much of Ross’s work, never pushing away from his subjects, but instead continually inching closer, like a long conversation with a good friend. He never reduces his scenes to just the image, making us aware of what we cannot see, but rather impregnates them with symbolism that seems to open them up to wider issues.
The five men never address the camera, but we feel embraced within their circle and part of this ritual, which connects them to the history of a place we may never see more closely than here.
New works by one of Bangladesh’s most prominent photojournalists, writers, and activists are on view at the Chicago art space through November 27.
Council often uses humor as a political tool to expose systems of power and inequality in a society in which even death carries a high price tag.
An exhibition at the San Francisco Opera House pairs the work of incarcerated artists with Beethoven’s story of unjust imprisonment.
Many works take disruption and repetition as their themes, and many artists resurface in different sections, creating multiple affinities.
Hear from Holly Jean Buck, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Simon Denny, Elizabeth Hoover, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Joseph Kunkel, and more at this free public event.
In Cooking with Paris, Hilton capitalizes on her portrayal of being a competent woman, while highlighting its anachronism through her absurd performance. Rosler manipulates the camera in the same way.
EFA Open Studios offers a portal into the creative habitats of over 65 artists working in Manhattan’s longest-running studio program, including Dannielle Tegeder, Wafaa Bilal, Cui Fei, and Anina Major.
A man says Blue Bayou took details of his life without his permission. Several women who appear in the documentary Sabaya say they did not consent to be filmed. How can filmmakers avoid these ethical pitfalls?
Ursula Biemann, Nicolas Bourriaud, and others said they will no longer participate in the event.
There is an official ban against the public mourning of Tiananmen Square victims in Hong Kong and mainland China.