“How do we come to believe this is the way things have to be:” Filmmaker Brett Story on the politics of access and observation

In November 2019, The Block welcomed Toronto-based filmmaker Brett Story for two nights of her acclaimed documentary films and conversation on her groundbreaking practice. The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (2016) explores the criminal justice system and mass incarceration in the U.S. from a number of oblique vantage points, rather than focusing on prisons themselves. Story looks […]

“I invest in myself and I make my films”: Jessie Maple on breaking boundaries and filmmaking [Audio]

Director Jessie Maple is a true trailblazer: the first African-American woman to join the International Photographers of Motion Picture & Television union, she also established a long-running venue for independent Black filmmakers in her own home. New York Women in Film and Television called Maple’s work “a forerunner of the independent, minority filmmaking that would cultivate directors […]

“Constantly in Translation”: Artists Vicko Alvarez Vega, Nicole Marroquin, and Diana Solís on identity, activism, and Pop [Video]

On October 30, 2019 the Block hosted an in-depth discussion with Chicago artists Vicko Alvarez Vega, Nicole Marroquin and Diana Solís. Convened and moderated by Sarita Hernández of the National Museum of Mexican Art the panel discussed how their practices are rooted in issues of identity and community, and how ideas and approaches from the exhibition Pop América remain relevant in our contemporary moment

Yvonne Welbon on the “Hidden Figures” of Cinema History [Audio]

On October 16, 2019, to inaugurate a year of programming around the One Book One Northwestern 2019-2020 selection, Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women who Helped Launch Our Nation Into Space, Block Cinema welcomed Chicago-based filmmaker (and Northwestern Film Studies PhD) Yvonne Welbon to present her 2003 documentary Sisters in Cinema. […]

“Dario is our Socrates”: Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and The Block team-up on a innovative Artist-At-Large Program [Video]

With science and engineering proceeding at a pace that far outruns known ethical standards, Artist-at-Large Dario Robleto returns to campus to continue conversations surrounding the intersection of the humanities and engineering. Launched three years ago, Northwestern Engineering’s unique Artist-at-Large program works in partnership with the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art to embed an artist within the McCormick […]

Artist-at-Large Dario Robleto discusses ethics with experts across fields [Video]

Artist Dario Robleto returned to Evanston this spring to continue his ongoing collaboration as Northwestern’s inaugural Artist-at-Large, hosted by the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and The Block Museum of Art. The Artist-at-Large Program brings contemporary artists to campus for in-depth exchanges with faculty and students; the Program joins other activities organized by […]

Fred Wilson explores Afro Turk identities in “Afro Kismet” [Video]

Internationally acclaimed artist and MacArthur Fellow Fred Wilson addressed audiences at The Block on April 16, 2019. In his talk, Wilson shared insights into his work Afro Kismet— resonant with themes of migration and history explored in the exhibition Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa. Throughout his career, […]