Crystal Z Campbell

2021 | 00:23:44 | United States | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | 16mm film

Collection: New Releases, Single Titles

Tags: African-American, History

In this 23-minute single-channel video, Campbell reconfigures scenes from archival 16mm film footage recorded by Solomon Sir Jones in the mid-1920s, film that documents the everyday lives of Black communities in Oklahoma, an area that once boasted over fifty Black townships during Reconstruction. The film documents Black self-determination in light of the erasure and displacement of Black communities across the United States, such as the Greenwood District in Tulsa Oklahoma—the site of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, that persists today.

Referencing impossible color theory, Campbell renders the film in washes of red and green hues—a color combination believed to be “impossible” for our eyes to see simultaneously. These colors limit visibility in these scenes of Black modernity, rupturing the legibility of the archive and the optics of this history. 

Originally commissioned by Oklahoma Contemporary in 2021.

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Oklahoma City Contemporary
Oklahoma City, OK

Exhibitions + Festivals

Semana de Cinema Negro, Belo Horizonte, BR 2023

Lines of Sight, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY 2023 (installation)

Centre Film Festival, State College, PA 2022

Block Museum Cinema, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

67th Flaherty Film Seminar, Hamilton, NY 2022

Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), NY, NY 2022

Notes From Black Wall Street: Upon A Century, Microscope Gallery, New York, NY 2021 (installation)

ONEOK Field with Greenwood Art Project, Tulsa, OK 2021

FLIGHT, Oklahoma Contemporary, Oklahoma City, OK 2021 (installation)