Design by Maeve Redmond
We are delighted to announce the fourth instalment of GIVE BIRTH TO ME TOMORROW, this year’s Artists’ Moving Image Festival, co-programmed by artists and writers Tako Taal and Adam Benmakhlouf. The festival continues with a screening of works by Christian Noelle Charles and Rashaad Newsome available to watch online from 17–24 July, via LUX Scotland’s website. Watch Here.
The screening will be accompanied by a discussion event hosted by the programmers on Thursday 22 July from 7:30–9:00pm. Book here for the discussion event.
Voice, exclamation and exuberant gestures are collated into the two distinctive and high energy films that form the fourth instalment of GIVE BIRTH TO ME TOMORROW. Raised voices cry out “ha!” or “What?!”, communicating shock, joy, humour, refusal, rejection. These two works form experimental and potent reminders of the power, range and complexity of bodily expression.
– Tako Taal and Adam Benmakhlouf
DA BE A BE by Christian Noelle Charles is described by the artist as “a visual poem paying homage to her family”. The performance-film is made up of mesmerising footage of shiny metallic sculptures from an installation by the artist Nick Cave and documentation of Charles’ performance practice. As the film progresses, what starts with a straightforward anecdote becomes a complex sampling and mixing of Charles’ voice and phrasing. The different textures and footage are deftly edited and carefully overlaid and collaged into exciting and alluring visions of impossible dimensions.
DA BE A BE is screened alongside Rashaad Newsome’s Shade Compositions, which “takes up the body language and voice of certain women of colour – wondering how a seemingly sassy street expression extends across the globe as an open vernacular.” The film from 2012 documents a performance of the work in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, including local women artists and drag performers. They are assembled into something like a choir, dressed in red, blue, white or black. Tuts, groans, exclamations of “What!” are rhythmically brought together, sampled and made into a powerful and sometimes overwhelming collective chorus.
The festival will continue with a series of screenings and events scheduled to follow the lunar calendar across the rest of 2021. The films are captioned by Valery Tough. The event will be transcribed live using otter.ai automated transcription.
Christian Noelle Charles, DA BE A BE, 2019. HD video, 10 min 14 sec
Rashaad Newsome, Shade Compositions, SFMOMA 2012. HD video, 50 mins.
Total running time: 61 mins, 14 sec.
About the works:
DA BE A BE is an exploration of self-love through the concept of family. It asks who do you represent in your family? How do you present yourself to the world? Christian shares these thoughts and expresses them in a visual poem paying homage to her family. DA BE A BE was created in response to Nick Cave’s 2019 exhibition Until which was exhibited at Tramway, Glasgow.
Shade Compositions takes up the body language and voice of certain women of colour — wondering how a seemingly sassy street expression extends across the globe as an open vernacular. Unlike previous iterations, the SFMOMA performance includes local women artists and also drag performers; this presentation of the piece meditates on the changing footprint of the African American community in the Bay Area and on the way queer culture has drawn sustenance and inspiration from the iconic “black diva.” “Mighty real,” indeed.
About the artists:
Christian Noelle Charles (b. 1993, New York) is a Black Female Artist currently living and working in Glasgow, Scotland. A Syracuse, New York native, Christian’s work is an exploration of female representation and self-love in a contemporary world. Christian takes inspiration from today’s pop culture, modern performance techniques, and personal experiences. She also derives inspiration as a video performance artist from the relationship between performer and audience member. By using the mediums of printmaking, video, and performance her work demonstrates a celebration of self-love and individuality. “I fall in love with myself, and I want someone to share it with me. I want someone to share me with me.” – Eartha Kitt The quote I will never forget
Rashaad Newsome is an interdisciplinary artist whose work blends several practices, including collage, sculpture, film, photography, music, computer programming, software engineering, and performance, to create an altogether new field. Using the diasporic traditions of improvisation and collage, he pulls from the world of advertising, the internet, Black and Queer culture to produce counter hegemonic work that walks the tight rope between social practice, abstraction, and intersectionality. Intersectional theory asserts that people are often disadvantaged by multiple sources of oppression: their race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and other identity markers. As a Black queer man from a working class background, Newsome’s work recognizes that these markers do not exist independently of each other and that each informs the others, often creating a complex convergence of oppression. Using the practice of collage, his work seeks to construct a new cultural framework of power that reclaims the Black body, celebrates Black contributions to the art canon, and creates innovative and inclusive forms of culture and media.
Newsome lives and works in New York City. He was born in 1979 in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he received a BFA in Art History at Tulane University in 2001. In 2004, he received a certificate of study in Digital Post Production from Film/Video ArtsInc. (NYC). In 2005 he studied MAX/MSP Programming at Harvest works Digital Media Art Center (NYC). He has exhibited and performed in galleries, museums, institutions, and festivals throughout the world including: The Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC), The National Museum of African American History and Culture (DC), The Whitney Museum (NYC), Brooklyn Museum (NYC), MoMAPS1 (NYC), SFMOMA (CA), New Orleans Museum of Art (LA), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture (Moscow), and MUSA (Vienna). Newsome’s work is in numerous public collections including the Studio Museum in Harlem, Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC), The Brooklyn Museum of Art (NYC), The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, McNay Art Museum (TX), The Chazen Museum of Art (WI), National Museum of African American History and Culture (DC) and The New Britain Museum of American Art (CT). In 2010 he participated in the Whitney Biennial (NYC), and in 2011 Greater New York at MoMAPS1 (NYC).
Image credits: 1. Christian Noelle Charles, DA BE A BE, 2019. Courtesy of the artist. 2. Rashaad Newsome, Shade Compositions, SFMOMA, 2012. Courtesy of the artist.
1. A landscape graphic with protest placard like shapes emblazoned with the words ‘GIVE BIRTH TO ME TOMORROW’ in capitalised san serif font. The rectangular shapes splay out across a dark green background, overlapping one another.
2. A horizontal video still with a black background, overlaid with a grid of thin white lines and diamond shapes where the lines meet. The image is a collage of figures. Christian, a black woman, sits at a small table to the right of the image. Her hands are palms down on the table as she leans in towards a microphone. She wears a bright red waistcoat on top of a white shirt, round sunglasses and a red hat. She smiles broadly as she speaks. To Christian’s left is the silhouette of a hooded figure in black and white, and above the figure are three smaller Christians all in the same position, speaking into microphones on small oval tables.
3. A video still depicts a group of people, women artists and drag queens from the Bay Area, California, gather for a performance. In the front, a black person wearing a bright red lipstick and a red sleeveless top raises an eyebrow as they speak / sing into the microphone. Behind them, performers lineup, all speaking / singing into microphones on stands. They are assembled into something like a choir, dressed in red, blue, white or black.
GIVE BIRTH TO ME TOMORROW, this year’s Artists’ Moving Image Festival, is supported by Screen Scotland and Film Hub Scotland in partnership with Tramway.