an entirely sincere, comprehensive and essential step by step guide to creating a film: the black london edition (2018)

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an entirely sincere, comprehensive and essential step by step guide to creating a film: the black london edition (2018)
single channel, digital, 3.43 mins

cecile emeke’s aesthetic decisions as a filmmaker have been provocative, bold, and often profound, playing with elements of the absurd, the surreal, the comedic, and the magic realism of a distinctly modern, caribbean life. since the development of her impactful diasporic, independently produced debut web-series strolling (2014 – 2016), she has employed sound as her most malleable tool, creating unexpected, transgressive textures. take, for example, the static-laden, radio transmitted, heavily accented jamaican patois heard in the bewildering, claustrophobic wilton (2016). or questions voiced by inquisitive children on the life of celebrated artist faith ringgold in the reverential the ancestors came (2017). to be confronted with the shapeshifting vocal distortions of narrator geraldine thomas in an entirely sincere, comprehensive and essential step by step guide to creating a film: the black london edition (2018) is another disarming mutation of emeke’s evolving methods of looking at corrosive power structures and our relationship as audience and critics to (what we could refer to cynically as) “black cultural production” or (more optimistically, spiritually) the conditions under which black “creativity” is manufactured and distributed as “work”. the film, which could be related to the youtube based performance work of artist jayson musson’s art thoughtz (2010 – 2012), takes the shape of a tutorial, a “how-to” manual for the frustrated, the cynical, the hopeful, the curious. an overwhelming title for a common dilemma, the film opens with disclaimers, declarations of what it will not do. this is an example of coping, subverting, and refusing the pressures of making representative, symbolic work. as treva ellison writes in the strangeness of progress and the uncertainty of blackness, “a representational mode always produces an absence or excess”. the development of a black artist’s aesthetic revolves around a flawed dichotomy, to which the perennial question of the black art critic appears, is this work too much or not enough?”

read full article by kareem reid on arts.black, “on cecile emeke and black cultural production