New York City, NY
In his captivating short films, Los Angeles–based artist and filmmaker Kahlil Joseph conjures the vibrant and impressionistic quality of dreams through a kaleidoscope of quotidian scenes and intimate moments.
In recent years, much of Joseph’s filmmaking has taken shape through collaborations with some of the most respected and forward-thinking hip-hop, jazz, indie, and electronic musicians working today, including Arcade Fire, FKA Twigs, Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, Sampha, and Shabazz Palaces. For this exhibition, his first solo presentation in New York, Joseph will debut a new black-and-white film that draws inspiration from photographer Roy DeCarava (1919–2009), whose images of celebrated jazz musicians and everyday life in Harlem Joseph has long admired. Drawing from DeCarava’s virtuosity with chiaroscuro effects and his commitment to representations that reflect the rhythms of daily life, Joseph’s new film will consider the dimensions of past, present, and future in Harlem and New York City.
For his New Museum exhibition, this new work will be presented in an installation together with m.A.A.d. (2014), a lush two-channel portrait of Compton, CA, that blends home video footage from the early 1990s with Joseph’s own footage, shot two decades later. Seen together, these works will serve as foils to one another, offering a conversation between two contrasting urban settings and the people who call them home. While m.A.A.d. offers a predominantly contemporary image, Joseph’s new work will extend beyond the present day—yet, in the spirit of DeCarava and true to Joseph’s past work, music will figure centrally in both. Surrounding the viewer with large-scale projections and immersive soundscapes, both works will reflect on the ways identity, memory, and spirituality are negotiated and expressed in distinct but equally influential cultural landscapes.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.