“This video is part of a series of Situations, a multi-genre response to contemporary life in the twenty-first century. Each video is in dialogue with a natural disaster or a national or international event or policy. Our intent was to interrogate the political and cultural impact of catastrophic events on individual lives through layered responses to moments such as the attack on the World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina or “stop and frisk” laws. At times, these events were set in motion by a single encounter, as in the World Cup headbutt where Zinedine Zidane felt the assault that language can yield and responded to it. At other times, social media supplied us with the videos of shootings of unarmed people of color that were collaged in order to recreate the effect of an accumulated affront on a life, on lives. As artists and citizens, we are interested in how the media informs our understanding through racialized framing of public events.”
About the Artist
Claudia Rankine, a member of the Academy, is the author of six collections of poetry, including Just Us: An American Conversation, Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; three plays including HELP, which premiered in March of 2020 at The Shed, NYC, The White Card, which premiered in February 2018 (ArtsEmerson/ American Repertory Theater) and was published by Graywolf Press in 2019, and Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; as well as numerous video collaborations.
Video courtesy of Claudia Rankine and John Lucas.
Commission on the Arts
The Commission - drawing on the expertise of its members who are artists, scholars, activists, and leaders, as well as the input of people across the country who participated in listening sessions - dedicated itself to recognizing and supporting the essential role of the arts and artists in American life.