July 29, 2021
BMA Debuts New Screen House Video Series Featuring Several Baltimore Artists
BALTIMORE, MD (July 29, 2021)—The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) is announcing Screen House, a new series showcasing the work of video and film artists with concerns relevant to Baltimore that will open on August 4. Each video in the Screen House series considers places and spaces with troubling pasts shaped by histories of forced labor, plunder and colonization, and war. The artists included in the initial presentation are Tom Boram and Jackie Milad, Ariel René Jackson, and Ada Pinkston. The works are projected inside the museum’s Spring House, a 19th-century Greek Revival structure designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Originally located at an estate near Baltimore’s Roland Park neighborhood, the building was used as a dairy and tended by enslaved people before moving to the BMA in 1932. Now, as a house for new media at the museum, it becomes a space to interrogate history, reimagine familiar stories, and reclaim joy and creativity. The first group of Screen House videos are on view August 4–29. Future screenings will feature works by TT the Artist (September 1–26) and Kandis Williams (September 29–October 31).
“The Screen House series is part of the BMA’s ongoing commitment to examining objects in our collection that represent challenging and sometimes traumatic histories. We see it as essential to bring these narratives forward through different perspectives and voices and in ways that provoke active discussion,” said Christopher Bedford, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. “The series also builds on our prior Screening Room digital programming as a means of further supporting our local artist community. We are looking forward to sharing the incredible work of the featured artists, who so beautifully and inspiringly speak to critical subjects of social, political, and historic importance.”
This exhibition is curated by Carlyn Thomas, BMA Curatorial Assistant for Contemporary Art, and Leila Grothe, BMA Associate Curator of Contemporary Art.
Tom Boram and Jackie Milad. Yalla Simsim (يلا سمسم). 2020. Single-channel high-definition video, 4:01 minutes.
Tom Boram and Jackie Milad present Yalla Simsim (يلا سمسم), an intense and chaotic audiovisual collage that combines animation and graphics with clips from old Hollywood films and archival footage of pillaged archaeological excavations. The video presents Westernized representations of ancient Egyptian culture to consider the act and actors of plunder.
Tom Boram (b. 1974, Baltimore, MD) is a Baltimore-based multi-media artist whose work ranges from video art and installation to music production, though his primary focus is improvisation and live performance. He has performed throughout North America and Europe and collaborated with musicians such as Matmos, Tetsuya Yoshida, Kaffe Matthews, Jamal Moore, Anne-F Jacques, and many others. Among the filmmakers and artists Boram has contributed sound work for are Karen Yasinsky, Jimmy Joe Roche, and Jackie Milad. He also works as a professor of digital art and media studies and is a co-founder of the High Zero Festival of Experimental Improvised Music. He received a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in 2019 and holds an MFA from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Jackie Milad (b. 1975, Baltimore, MD) is a Baltimore-based visual artist, educator, and cultural worker. Select organizations that have presented her work are Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore Museum of Art, and The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, the Harvey B. Gantt Center in Charlotte, University of Pennsylvania Arthur Ross Gallery in Philadelphia, Middle East Institute Gallery in Washington D.C., and Museo de Arte de Mazatlan in Mexico. Milad is a multi-year recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award, and was named a Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize Finalist and a Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Ruby Grantee in 2019. Milad received her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, and her MFA from Towson University.
Ariel René Jackson. Bentonville Forecast: In the Square. 2019. Single-channel high-definition video, 6:00 minutes.
Austin, Texas-based artist Ariel René Jackson examines the ways that Black citizens have been impacted by their encounters with a Confederate statue in Bentonville, Arkansas. With accounts told by intergenerational passersby and by obstructing the statue with a weather balloon, Jackson forecasts warnings of historical aggression and oppression.
Ariel René Jackson (b. 1991, New Orleans, LA) is a Black artist whose practice considers land and landscape as sites of internal representation as their maternal family descends from generations of farmers. Their work has been shown nationally at the Dallas Contemporary, Jacob Lawrence Gallery in Seattle, Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, DePaul Art Museum in Chicago, Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence, and Studio Museum in Harlem. Jackson is an alum of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Royal College of Art Exchange Program, and Cooper Union. Jackson currently teaches at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her MFA.
Ada Pinkston. LandMarked Part 5: A Tribute to Fannie Lou Hamer. 2018. Single-channel high-definition video, 2:30 minutes.
Wearing a glittering scarf and a hoop skirt while atop the base of the Confederate monument once present across the street from the museum, Baltimore-based Ada Pinkston encourages a consideration of how the space of this empty plinth could or should be used in the future. The video includes audio of a 1964 speech given by the influential Civil Rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer.
Ada Pinkston (b. 1983, New York, NY) is an unbound multimedia artist, educator, and cultural worker living and working in Baltimore. Her work has been presented at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, The Walters Art Museum, The Peale Museum, Transmodern Performance Festival, MoMA P.S.1, The New Museum, Light City Baltimore, and the streets of Berlin, Baltimore, and Orlando. Pinkston has received an Andy Warhol Foundation Grit Fund Grant and a Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Rubys Grant and is a past Halcyon Arts Lab fellow and current Monument Lab Goethe-Institut Transnational fellow. Her new work, The Open Hand is Blessed, is in the inaugural LACMA x Snapchat Monument Perspectives AR project. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University and MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art.
TT the Artist. Dark City Beneath the Beat. 2020. Single-channel high-definition video, duration to be determined.
Dark City Beneath The Beat is a musical documentary that amplifies the soundscape of Baltimore City, highlighting local club artists, DJs, dancers, and producers as they invent and expand their hometown musical genre of Baltimore club music. This dance sequence edit for Screen House showcases Baltimore talent within a positive subculture that rises above social and economic turmoil to develop a vibrant and close-knit community for the arts.
TT the Artist (b. 1984, Fort Lauderdale, FL) is a Baltimore-based filmmaker, creative director, community artist, designer, songwriter, and performer whose music blends hip hop, pop, club and EDM. She has performed on stages around the world, including Coachella and SXSW music festivals, and her music has been featured in programs on Comedy Central, HBO, MTV, Netflix, and Viceland. She was also a regular host of the CW network’s Keepin It Real TV show and co-produced Off The Edge Radio in Baltimore. In 2018, TT launched Club Queen Records, a label that focuses on music releases by women artists in hip hop, dance music, and R&B genres. Dark City Beneath the Beat, currently shown in its entirety on Netflix, is her first feature film. TT holds an BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Kandis Williams. Annexation Tango. 2020. Single channel video, 10:31 minutes.
Annexation Tango was produced as a site-responsive commission for the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. The video’s backdrops feature fields that were formerly those of the Lorton Reformatory and the Virginia State Prison Farm, two facilities where incarcerated people were made to work as a condition of their sentences. Aerial footage of prison facilities, plantation-style homes, open fields, and pastures superimposed with a dancer performing a tango for one provide an uncanny convergence of past and present architectures of oppression.
Kandis Williams (b. 1985, Baltimore, MD) is a Los Angeles- and Berlin-based artist whose practice spans collage, performance, assemblage, publishing, and curating. Her work has been exhibited at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, the Underground Museum in Los Angeles, and Frye Art Museum in Seattle, and is currently featured in Made in L.A. 2020: a version at UCLA’s Hammer Museum and The Huntington Library in Los Angeles, where she was awarded the Mohn Award for artistic excellence. Williams is the founder of Cassandra Press publishing company. She received a 2021 Grants to Artists award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York and holds a BFA from Cooper Union.
About the Baltimore Museum of Art
Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 95,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.