In the midst of the LA heatwave, this October the use of public spaces is an ever apreciated part of Cali lockdown. Enculturating yourself this weekend through mid November is Womxn in Windows presenting its second annual exhibition of video works by womxn filmmakers and video artists. Curated by Zehra Ahmed, the artists’ videos will be on view from October 15 – November 15, 2020, 24 hours a day in over 15 windows along Chinatown’s historic Chung King Road in Los Angeles. Accessible to all, guests can watch the films from the street and tune into the audio of the film via a QR code on the window. Check out the various womxn involved in this wonderful display of visuals, music, and creativity.
In Limbo, 2017
Born in Los Angeles, CA Christine Yuan is an Emmy-award winning Taiwanese-American director. Known for her bold and playful style, and with an instinct for authentic performances that depict organic facets of youth culture and the female experience, she creates worlds that capture the imaginative quality of the human experience.
Yuan, previously a Creative Director for 88rising, has created visuals for Joji, Rich Brian, Summer Walker, GoldLink, to name a few. Her feature documentaries have won Best Culture/History Documentary at the 2018 LA Area Emmy, Best Documentary at the 2018 Golden Mike Awards, and Best Feature Documentary at the 2017 National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards. Her commercial work has been shortlisted for D&AD’s Next Director Award, 1.4 Awards Show, Young Guns 15 Awards, and Shoot’s Director’s Showcase. Commercial credits include Prada, Apple, Mercedes-Benz, Reebok, Zara, and Tiffany & Co, and more.
Christine Yuan, In Limbo, 2017
In Limbo by Christine Yuan is a visual poem exploring the space between life and death. It is the space where the soul meets the body, before we are born, the first moment we begin to feel, incubating while the spirit merges with its physical form. It is a remembrance of the feminine divine, the birth of the soul and the source of all life. Deeply meditative, as three womxn embrace and pay respect to the earth, water, and sun through movement. Feeling every drop of water, treading the earth softly and taking in every ray of sunshine. The parallel movement in nature conjures up life, reminds us to celebrate and make an example of it. To embrace this earth with spirit and vitality.
Everlane Moraes, Aurora, 2018
In Aurora, Everlane Moraes observes the existence of three Black women – from different spaces, contexts, and ages – not concerned with the narrative, but with the essence of their characters. Without a single word uttered during the 15 minute film, with the exception of a final song, we experience and feel the existential doubt that transcends age and beliefs. Each womxn continues to explore her inner conflicts and sufferings at every stage in life and reminds us that we must persist even when we feel displaced. Our belief and desire for a truly free existence keeps us curious from the moment we are birthed to our last breath and beyond. Aurora communicates this in a most subtle and tender way.
Ja’Tovia Gary, An Ecstatic Experience, 2015
An Ecstatic Experience is an experimental meditation on transcendence by Ja’Tovia Gary using archival material, montage editing and analogue animation techniques. Gary is concerned with challenging the notion of cinema and the role of the artist working with the scope of the medium. Her films examine the legacy of resistance and liberation through spiritual and ritualistic methods, animated by repetitive mark making carried out directly on the filmstock to represent notions of craft and gendered labor practices. Interlaced with scenes from historical events, Gary redefines the feminine gaze; focusing on the Black figure within the moving image.
Kilo Kish, Blessed Assurance: a dream that i had, 2019
‘When I started interviewing the artists, I was so inspired by their willingness to suffer for a calling they found pure. Their audacity made them saintly to me. I wanted to explore belief in one’s art and the way it relates to religious faith and spiritual calling. Creative practice almost becomes a religion. And I think, through it, you become closer to God. I’m happy to explore the act of making as its very own reward. Its very own promise and certainty.’ – Kilo Kish
Originally presented as a multi room installation, Blessed Assurance: a dream that I had takes on a new life as the six individual visual pieces are framed in six individual windows. The captivating visuals mix recorded video, overlaid with punchy low-fi graphics and an animated church reminiscent of a two-bit video game – with accompanying ambient sounds, accessed through QR codes, and transport the viewer to their own physical and spiritual dimension, somewhere between the space Kish imagines and the sky above.
Born in San Diego, Kya Lou is an artist, editor and color grading specialist based in Los Angeles. Her work is at the intersection of ancestral memory, community, landscape and identity. She currently dedicates her time to running COLOURED ONLY, a color grading studio focused on conjuring colors that exceed the frame and trouble the truth.
Lou’s work has been shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; Residency Art Gallery in Inglewood, among others. She is a graduate of the School of Arts and Architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Kya Lou, Eulogy, 2020
Eulogy splices open a three hour VHS tape passed down two generations. The tape itself consists of 8mm footage chronicling the personal lives of the filmmaker’s maternal lineage in the 1960s. Using the footage as a point of departure, Eulogy considers family structures as formative to understanding how communities are informed by care, absence, belief and joy. The presentation of this work sits between the one year anniversaries for the untimely passing of the artist’s aunt Gwendolyn (March 1948 – September 2019) and grandfather Robert Francis Baxter (November 1939 – November 2019).
I Am Arab, 2019
A Human, An Animal or A Thing, 2020
Hi, I know you missed me, 2020
Remie Akl is bold and unapologetic. She says, ‘…while most of us are ashamed or afraid to say it out loud because of the foreign propagandas, I am raising my voice. I am Arab. And this video is my debut.’
Arab, an identity usually associated with being Muslim and long held as a reason for shame in the Western world, is being dismantled in these videos. Akl wants to hold men accountable for their attitudes towards womxn and reminds them that they are not needed if they want to curb our existence. In this visually captivating series of videos, Akl reclaims her Arab femme identity, talks about the sufferings of a Lebanese girl lacking a proper nation – knowing that it’s the people who build a nation – and remarks on friends from her country doing very little to encourage progress; merely accepting the situation they’re living in. These videos, Akl states, are a call for change; for a stable, conflict-free and independent Lebanon, where basic human rights and freedoms are secured for all.
A Song About Love, 2019
Born in Tuscaloosa, AL. Rikkí Wright Is a Photographer and Filmmaker based in Los Angeles, CA. Her work explores notions of community, family, and sisterhood, especially among black women, and looks at the way a community can mold or expand our ideas of strength, and beauty. Wright grew up with two older sisters who were her best friends and her source of support through life’s trials and tribulations, beginning with the loss of Wright’s mother at the age of two. Her sisters taught her the power of having women by her side who she could be real with and depend on, and her work seeks to capture this sense of power.
Her work has been featured in the NYTimes, i-D, LALA, Refinery 29 and many other publications. Her film has been shown at black star fest and her clients include girlgaze, Outdoor Voices, Warby Parker and No Sesso.
Rikkí Wright, A Song About Love, 2019
Rikki Wright sets the tone for A Song About Love instantly, as the film opens with the words of Bell Hooks and transitions into the song Say You Love Me. In this spiritual reckoning on the different forms of love in this world, from human to divine, Wright is navigating the contrasts between real and redemptive love and the roots of enduring faith in the Black community.
She is exploring the complex relationship between sexuality and religion; the same religion that has given her and her ancestors strength, music and peace in the most difficult of times, but has not fully accepted her existence. Beautiful and moving, with striking transitions between interviews, music and Wright’s own body, this film is a reminder of the power of faith, the beauty that can come from pain and the search for oneself and our place in society.
The Prophetess, 2018
Born in Southern Germany, of German-Dominican descent, Sylvie Weber’s confrontation with belonging and identity is often reflected in her storytelling, alongside a consistent desire to unveil the character within and engage more deeply with the greater representation and empowerment of womxn through film. Weber’s career has seen her explore various formats of the medium, shorts, music videos, documentaries and advertising.
Weber has embarked on a journey with the NGO, Journalists for Human Rights, to teach aspiring journalists in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to cover human rights stories objectively and effectively, bringing awareness to the problems they face within and without their country.
Her work has been featured in Vogue, Fader, Rolling Stone and Hypebeast among other notable publications. Her clients include Nike, Nowness, Dazed, ID and many others. The Prophetess has won best documentary short at the Athens Film Festival.
Sylvie Weber, The Prophetess, 2018
In Weber’s film, The Prophetess, the narrative is twofold. The story follow two womxn, Furaha and Venantie, who – in spite of having been violated, victimized, and employed as weapons of a male conflict – use their tender friendship as the source of ultimate strength; a strength so great that it empowers their entire community of womxn to set out for a different future. In doing, so they reclaim their own narrative, ability to control their present and write their futures – devoid of societal pressures. In parallel, Weber weaves through the mythical story of Kimpa Vita—the mother of African revolution in the kingdom of the Kongo (1390–1857)—who continues to give strength to this community of womxn centuries later.
Weber says that ‘as a female director, I wanted to make a statement to global sisterhood, that legions of womxn stand beside our sisters in the DR Congo, who are being silenced systematically, who carry the weight of a nation on their shoulders.’