EMPAC’s Other Uses Film Series Continues with the Works of Ulysses Jenkins [Berkshire on Stage]
At 7pm tonight (Monday, March 26), EMPAC at RPI in Troy presents the next event in its year-long film series Other Uses. Focused on the work of filmmaker Ulysses Jenkins, the event will feature documentary and performance videos the artist made from the 1970s to the present. Jenkins will be making a rare East Coast appearance to introduce his films and discuss his work with the audience.
Ulysses Jenkins is a video/performance artist whose work is known for its consideration and critique of the portrayal of Black men in America, especially within the medium of television. Adopting the role of a “video griot,” Jenkins draws upon the inspiration of the African oral tradition in videos that are often structured around music and poetic recitation, as well as dynamic performances. Jenkins was introduced to video just as the first consumer cameras were made available to individuals, and he quickly seized upon the television technology as a means to broadcast alternative depictions of African American culture and call to Black filmmakers to control their subject-hood by controlling the media depicting them.
He is a three-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ individual artist fellowship and was awarded the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame first place award in the experimental video category in 1990 and 1992. He is currently Professor of Art at University of California, Irvine.