Programme 2018

The Third Part of the Third Measure

Director: The Otolith Group featuring the compositions of Julius Eastman


Section: The New Medium III: Multi-screen Cinema

Country: UK | Year: 2017

Language(s): English | Time: 44 mins


From the late 1960s until his death in 1990, Julius Eastman, the queer African-American avant-garde composer, pianist, vocalist and conductor wrote and performed compositions whose ecstatic and militant minimalism initiated a black radical aesthetic, yet no recordings of his music were released during his lifetime. In January 1980, Julius Eastman was invited by the Music Department at Northwestern University to present his compositions Crazy Nigger (1978) Evil Nigger (1979) and Gay Guerrilla (1979). A number of African-American students and one faculty member objected to the titles of the compositions. Modified verbatim transcriptions of Eastman’s public statement responding to these objections are delivered by poet Dante Micheaux and experimental vocalist Elaine Mitchener, while four pianists perform Eastman’s compositions in this 2-screen work.

Director's Bio

The Otolith Group is a collective founded by artists and theorists Anjalika Sagar (b. 1968) and Kodwo Eshun (b. 1967) in 2002. Their work is characterized by an engagement with research around the cultural and political legacies and potentialities of Non-Aligned movements, New Media, Black Study, Afrofuturism and Indofuturism. Their work has been presented at Documenta 13, Gwangju Biennale, TBA21, Vienna, MAXXI, Rome, Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, Kunsthall Bergen, Project 88, Mumbai, Fabrica, Brighton, MACBA, Buenos Aires. The Otolith Group was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2010.