Somewhere near the top of the list of things I’ve been missing during the pandemic sits the collective experience of packing into small arthouse cinemas to watch films together (the kind you won’t find on Netflix). The collective mmms, giggles, and post-screening chatter that define the experience of beholding films together summon nostalgia for a time when a single cough didn’t prompt a full-body flinch. While occasional drive-in screenings have tried to make up for this by bringing an old past-time back into fashion, that format presents its challenges for the millions of New Yorkers without access to their own set of wheels.
Since September, the Brooklyn Museum has been doing its best to try to fill the gap with Art on the Stoop: Sunset Screenings, a free outdoor exhibition which presents video art works from the museum’s collection (along with a few key loans). Thus far, the program has featured moving image works by artists such as Wangechi Mutu, Tourmaline, and Arthur Jafa, projected on a 30-foot screen, for viewers gathered on the museum’s expansive public plaza. The aim being to “explore themes of power and uncertainty, distance and loss, and the role history plays in our present times.”
Beginning October 14, this next iteration of the program will feature a special presentation of artist videos curated by photographer John Edmonds, winner of the first annual UOVO prize and whose solo exhibition A Sidelong Glance will open at the museum on October 23. On Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, titles to look out for include Howardena Pindell’s brilliant (and still remarkably resonant) art world critique “Free, White and 21” (1980); Adama Delphine Fawundu’s stirring short, “the cleanse”; and a pair of videos by painter and sculptor Jeffrey Gibson, known for his vibrant works which merge iconographic elements related to his Choctaw-Cherokee heritage with critiques of the material traces of capitalism. Visitors on Fridays and Saturdays can also look forward to short works by the likes of Edmonds himself, Glenn Ligon, Tionna Nekkia McClodden, Ja’Tovia Gary, and Sara Cwynar.
In addition to the curated program, Art on the Stoop will also feature Carrie Mae Weem’s COVID-19 video PSAs, and a related installation, meant to draw attention to the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on Black, brown, and Indigenous communities.
Where: Brooklyn Museum public plaza (200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn)
When: Beginning at sunset on Wednesday through Sundays, from October 14 through November 8