Risks and the Senses: Black Women in Experimental Film
A screening of experimental shorts by Black women emphasizing somatic principles of film and the body, curated by Ayanna Dozier.
The senses are the leading way in which we come to know things about ourselves and the world but they are routinely sidelined as a serious methodology for reading art and film. Simultaneously, criticism on Black women in film tends to favor if not foreground representational, narrative analysis. But what of the film that exceeds representational analysis? What methods do we use for studying experimental film and the Black women who make and study this practice? With these questions in mind, Risks and the Senses mounts a film screening of several Black feminist experimental shorts, curated by Ayanna Dozier, and post-screening discussion to draw out experimental film's somatic properties to an audience. The discussion amongst filmmakers Ja'Tovia Gary and Barbara McCullough and moderated by artist-scholar Ayanna Dozier will engage with the history of Black women's uses of the senses in experimental film and the risks that are posed from these somatic engagements and experimental work.
Water Ritual #1 An Urban Rite of Purification (1979), directed by Barbara McCullough
Dreaming Rivers (1989), directed by Martina Attille
Chasing the Moon (1991), directed by Dawn Suggs
Demarcations (1992), directed by Kym Ragusa
Defatting (2000), directed by Michele Lewis
The Giverny Document (2019), directed by Ja'Tovia Gary
Article: Risks and the Senses
screengrab from Chasing the Moon (1991) directed by Dawn Suggs
Risks and the Senses: Black Women in Experimental Shorts is a program of experimental shorts by Black women that draw out film and video’s ability to generate affect, the labor our body does to make sense of itself through the senses and emotions. This shift toward the senses parallels the emotive tensions of the films and thus asks audiences to consider how we can shift our way of knowing to one of feeling, to bear witness to more ambiguous forms of embodiment centering Black women … read more at Screen Slate