SFMOMA currently featuring film and digital video. On the third floor is The Train, an examination of Robert Kennedy's funeral train carrying his assassinated body from New York City for burial in Arlington, Virginia. The starting point is a series of blurry color photographs from Paul Fusco who was commissioned by Look Magazine. Fusco rode on the train and shot the onlookers along the tracks paying tribute. French artist Philippe Parreno was so taken by the photos that he recently rented a train and hired actors in late 1960s period clothing to reenact the event in a 7-minute, 70mm art film which you can watch in a small room while laying on the floor. In another room, Dutch artist Rein Jelle Terpstra assembled 8mm footage and photos that the mourners themselves had taken of the event. The overall effect can best be described as disembodied.
African-born Londoner John Akomfrah called Vertigo Sea, which combines stunningly beautiful nature imagery of the ocean juxtaposed with disturbing archival and contemporary imagery of whales and polar bears being slaughtered along with references to the 19th century Middle Passage slave trade and 21st century refugees drowning in leaking boats in the Mediterranean Sea.
great interview by Jonathan Curiel in the SF Weekly. “I can’t watch it anymore, because in the course of trying to finish it, I think I crossed a line. There are one or two thinkers who basically told us over and over again that there’s this stage of being, and we have for a long time believed that [humans] were the only figures in that stage. And we know that’s not true. Deep down, everybody knows this is not true. Deep down. I happen to believe it passionately now. So I can’t watch it, because I know I’m watching fragments of a genocide. That’s basically what you’re watching."
"Stuart Hall, the Jamaican born pubic intellectual."