Curated by Steven Matijcio; Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center
Supported by FotoFocus
Kahlil Joseph (b. 1981) is an American filmmaker and video artist who marries the style and seduction of the music video genre with poignant meditations on both the beauty and peril of contemporary African-American life. In pieces ranging from Beyonce’s 2016 concept album Lemonade (which he co-directed), to a commercial for the British telecommunications company O2, starring Gary Oldman, to a short film about black cowboys in Grayson, Oklahoma, Joseph’s sensibility is eclectic, lyrical and haunting. This exhibition features the 2014 dual-channel film work m.A.A.d in which Joseph translates the lyrics, memories and experiences of the American rapper Kendrick Lamar (from his second studio album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City) into a mythical portrait of Compton and the many lives that circulate through its history. It is paired here with the short film Until the Quiet Comes, in which Joseph channels the music of electronic producer/musician Flying Lotus into a searing, yet surreal look into the Nickerson Gardens neighborhood of Los Angeles. Together they provide a striking, yet enduring insight into Joseph’s unique capacity to weave the silky language of cinema with a searing audit of Black experience today.