Whose Streets?: Emeka Ekwelum, Sabaah Folayan, Kristiana Rae Colón, and Damon Williams in discussion [Audio]

Each week throughout Spring 2020, a member of The Block's team has offered selections that resonate with them at this moment. ⁣Today, Michael Metzger, Pick-Laudati Curator of Media Arts, chooses the platform to draw attention to a single event with relevance to our moment “The images of police violence that have circulated over the last week are shocking but not surprising; in fact, they are...

“Art is between us”: Mania Akbari on capturing poetry, collaboration, and transformation on film [Audio]

At age 30, Iranian filmmaker Mania Akbari was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy. A Moon For My Father (2019), an essay film made in collaboration with her partner, the British sculptor Douglas White, positions Akbari’s illness within layers of personal and national history. Rich in texture and astonishingly intimate, Akbari’s film presents memory as a poetic,...

“They said you can’t make a film like this”: Lizzie Borden on revolution, race, and radical action in”Born in Flames” [Audio]

Set in an alternate-reality socialist democratic United States, Lizzie Borden’s speculative fiction Born in Flames (1983) finds the country still plagued by social injustice. This feminist classic is a low-budget, grassroots production, documentary-like in its reflection of a long-gone grungy yet vibrant downtown New York City. Made at the height of the Reagan years, it tackles sexism, racism,...

“The Picture Is the Window”: Lynn Gumpert and Lisa Corrin on Abby Grey and intrepid art collecting [Audio]

Consisting of more than 700 artworks, the Abby Weed Grey Collection of Modern Asian and Middle Eastern Art at New York University comprises the largest institutional holdings of Iranian, Turkish and Indian modern art in any American university museum.  This unparalleled historical resource was amassed by Abby Weed Grey (1902-1983), a self-described “dyed-in-the-wool...

“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...

“Histories that we’ve missed”: Jesse Lerner on Ism, Ism, Ism [Audio]

Throughout its Fall 2019 season Block Cinema screened selected programs from Ism, Ism, Ism, a groundbreaking touring film series that offers the first comprehensive survey of Latin America’s vibrant experimental film history. Organized by filmmakers and curators Jesse Lerner and Luciano Piazza as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time II: LA/LA initiative, these programs featured key...

“Something unexpected underneath the surface”: Sound Designer Gary Rydstrom on “The Elephant Man” [Audio]

On October 10, 2019 Block Cinema joined with Northwestern's MA in Sound Arts and Industries to welcome Academy-Award-Winning Sound Designer Gary Rydstrom for a discussion of David 's Lynch's 1980 classic The Elephant Man. Although noted for its evocative black and white cinematography and for John Hurt’s sensitive and powerful performance as Merrick, the film’s emotional landscape derives,...

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. In the film, Welbon...

Wattz Up! Yollocalli’s Pop Up Youth Radio broadcasts from The Block Museum

On September 28, 2019 members of Pop Up Youth Radio, a project of Yollocalli Arts Reach, transformed The Block Museum lobby into an on-air studio, broadcasting live from the Pop America 1965-1975 exhibition opening. Wattz Up! is a weekly radio show on WLPN 105.5 FM Lumpen Radio.  Broadcast live from Studio Y in Little Village, Chicago on Saturdays from 12-2pm, the program features...

The Sounds of Pop América: Tune in to exhibition Spotify playlist

The exhibition Pop America, 1965-1975 on view at The Block Museum of Art from September 21, 2019 to December 8, 2019 is is the first exhibition to unify Latin American and Latinx expressions of Pop and explore how artists working across the hemisphere embraced its bold and colorful imagery, references to mass culture, and representations of everyday objects, signs, and symbols. The exhibition...