As part of public programming accompanying the group exhibition Visions Into Infinite Archives, Black Salt Collective curates an afternoon of film screenings on Saturday, January 30, 12–4pm. Spanning genre and form, these personal and often humorous films by an intergenerational mix of Black, Brown, and indigenous filmmakers engage in sensory observations about mythology, emotionality, visibility, spirituality and cultural preservation and loss. The program concludes with the 1995 feature length experimental documentary Bontoc Eulogy, in which director Marlon Fuentes memorializes the 1,100 Filipino tribal natives brought to the U.S. to be a “living exhibit” at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
Visions Into Infinite Archives manifests alternative futures as well as alternative pasts to explore the expansive interconnectedness of individual and cultural narratives. On view January 14–February 10, 2016, the exhibition features artwork in many media from 30 artists of color contributing to an archive that defies a Western, anthropological approach to recording and sharing histories and trajectories of cultural experience. Through murals, light and textile installations, ritualistic expressions and film screenings, the exhibition puts the past and future into conversation with present moments of cyclical and institutional oppression to create a space where healing can take place and evolve.
FILM PROGRAM OVERVIEW
12:00pm Shorts Program
1:30pm Discussion moderated by Black Salt Collective
2:30pm Feature Film: Bontoc Eulogy
3:30pm Discussion moderated by Black Salt Collective
*** RSVP on Eventbrite to guarantee your seat.
FEATURE FILM DESCRIPTION
By Marlon E. Fuentes
(From Independent Television Service)
Marlon E. Fuentes’ Bontoc Eulogy is a haunting, personal exploration into the filmmaker’s complex relationship with his Filipino heritage as explored through the almost unbelievable story of the 1,100 Filipino tribal natives brought to the U.S. to be a “living exhibit” at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. For those who associate the famous fair with Judy Garland, clanging trolleys, and creampuff victoriana, Bontoc Eulogy offers a disturbing look at the cultural arrogance that went hand-in-hand with the Fair’s glorification of progress. The Fair was the site of the world’s largest ever “ethnological display rack,” in which hundreds of so-called primitive and savage men and women from all over the globe were exhibited in contrast to the achievements of Western civilization.
The Manila-born Fuentes explores his complex relationship with his Filipino ancestry by researching the path of Markod, a Bontoc Igorot warrior brought to St. Louis in 1904, never to return home. Using historical data from the Library of Congress and the National Archives, 90-year-old archival footage, and seamless recreations, Fuentes weaves the story of the missing Markod with his own musings on the fate of his ancestral “grandfather” and the whereabouts of his final remains.
Fuentes, who serves as the film’s on-screen narrator, quotes a well-known Philippine saying: “He who does not look back from whence he came from will never ever reach his destination.” With Bontoc Eulogy, Fuentes has created an insightful and poignant examination of history, family, memory, and cultural loss, and a film that speaks to the entire immigrant experience.
SHORT FILM DESCRIPTIONS
Ang Maikling Buhay ng Apoy, Act 2 Scene 2, Suring at ang Kuk-ok
(The Brief Lifespan of Fire, Act 2 Scene 2, Suring & the Kuk-ok)
By Kanakan Balintagos
The short film tells the myth of Suring, who casts a spell of immense beauty but is still judged by humanity.
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By Miko Revereza
This personal Super 8 film looks at and reads Los Angeles and symbols of American popular culture through the eyes of a Filipino immigrant. Through navigational directions, by reciting a list of missing things, or by varying key themes, the film makes visible the gap between the attributes and expressions of diverse cultural identities.A repeated shot of a singer, combined with a conversation about hallucinations, amplifies the melancholy of a viewpoint burdened by the context of a different culture.Philippine director Miko Revereza grew up and works in the USA. His past works include music videos and live video installations. His films are devoted to personal themes regarding the Americanization of Philippine immigrants.
By Sofia Canales
Three Latina women of different generations take pleasure in helping each other bathe, dress up, and cook a meal for themselves.
Salty And Fresh
By Paula Wilson
Filmed on Virginia Key Beach, Paula Wilson’s Salty & Fresh exhibits a creation myth that is cross-pollinated between imagination and history; a mythologized humanism that defies the boundaries separating greco-roman amphorae and the United State’s history of segregation. The emergent scene represents a diasporic collage of asses—face painted—rising from the ocean tide with the character of the artist (The Creator), modifying facial expressions with an oversized brush and pallette.
Keep it in, Keep it out
By Wizard Apprentice
The song and video for “Keep it in, Keep it out” were written and produced by Wizard Apprentice. “Keep It In, Keep It Out” are about taking in so much sensory, emotional, and intellectual information that it’s debilitating. It’s also about spiritual and psychedelic support that help synthesize that information.
By Wizard Apprentice
The video for “Golden Light” is about time traveling back to Detroit in the late 80’s to a public access television show, The New Dance Show. The song was written by Tropic Green and the video directed by Wizard Apprentice. Both Tropic Green and Wizard Apprentice are electronic musicians. Through the video they pay homage to Black electronic musicians of Detroit – one of the originating cities of house music.
From Sea to See
By Eve Lauryn LaFountain
2014, 8min 23sec
These are some of the last images I shot on Ektachrome. As I looked through the footage I had after Kodak announced the end of the era of reversal color stock, I started to see a pattern. Some might say an indigenous point of view. Buffalo fenced in, Native peoples, dances, cultural tourism, and events that are very well documented. I have lots of footage of people taking pictures. Cops, tourists, Indians, cowboys…I am behind all of them capturing these moments, capturing them capturing moments of waning ideals. Manifest Destiny claimed that all this land, known to the original peoples as Turtle Island, was free for the taking. European settler expansion to the west was inevitable, regardless of who and what stood in the way. The explorers are always thinking that they can lay claim to all that is in front of them. Space became the final frontier as what was once the wild west became tamed. Now our space fantasies are fizzling out too. I set out to edit these small rolls of film together as a farewell to Ektachrome, a farewell to the last of Kodak’s color reversal films. It became a meditation on the legacy of Manifest Destiny and the greed to taking what cannot belong to anyone.
full of birds
By Sarah Biscarra Dilley
Made during the vernal equinox in a Digital Storytelling workshop, part of CCUIH’s Red Women Rising project, full of birds reflects upon intergenerational experience with violence among the women of one California Indian family. Part oral testimony and part prayer, the narrative, shaped by found footage and archival material, names the multi-scalar impact of ongoing settler occupation, displacement and trauma while mapping complex paths to healing, homecoming and change.
By Anna Luisa “Jeepneys” Petrisko
In Historic Filipinotown Los Angeles, filipin@ performers meditate on their relationship to a changing neighborhood and to monuments in the Diaspora. Through ritual, song, dance, seed-planting, and offerings, they activate space and call upon their spirit guides. Mabuhay, a typical Tagalog greeting that translates as welcome, viva, or cheers; and KA, meaning connection, and communion as in KApwa, KApatid, KAlibutan. Using the ancient pre-colonial Baybayin script, artist/performer Diyan Valencia weaves the letters MABUHAY KAinto a fence at the iconic intersection of Temple and Belmont. MABUHAY KA was shot, edited, and produced by Jeepneys while artist-in-residence at the Echo Park Film Center in 2015. In addition, Jeepneys composed an original score. By choosing to work in dual formats, analog and HD digital, the film conveys a sense of non-linear time. This film was executed in under two months and was screened at the Echo Park Film Center in March 2015.
January 14–February 10, 2016
Gallery hours: Tuesday–Friday 12–7pm & Saturday 12–5pm
Thursday, January 14, 6–9pm
Featuring performances from Chochenyo activist and poet Vince Medina, Hermano Milagroso and Jeepneys + some times in direct dialogue with the exhibition and its themes, the unveiling activates a monthlong journey into the archive. With live documentation of the performances and event itself, the archive continues to expand in each moment.
Closing Ceremony & Reception
Thursday, February 4, 6–9pm
Join the artists and curators for ceremony and celebration with drinks and musical delights. Featuring live sets by special guest musician Ryan Dennison (Deadrezkids, Fort Wingate, NM), as well as Tropic Green (Adee Roberson), plus an all-vinyl DJ set by Bay Area favorite Brown Amy (Hard French, Natural High), the closing ceremony and reception is the final chance to add your presence to the archive.
The exhibition and all related events are free to attend and take place at SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St. (between 8th & 9th Streets), San Francisco, CA, 94103, unless otherwise noted. SOMArts is wheelchair/ADA accessible.
ARTISTS, FILMMAKERS & PERFORMERS
Sarah Biscarra Dilley
DJ Brown Amy
Marlon E. Fuentes
Jose Luis Iniguez
Jeepneys + some times
Grace Rosario Perkins
Images top to bottom: still from “MABUHAY KA,” courtesy of the artist Anna Luisa “Jeepneys” Petrisko