Public Screening Of Larry Clark's Passing Through

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Public Screening Of Larry Clark's Passing Through
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Public Screening Of Larry Clark's Passing Through says

SEPTEMBER 18, 2015
Kopleff Recital Hall, 6:00 p.m.
10 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

Passing Through (Larry Clark, 1977) follows a jazz musician’s struggle against the recording industry while searching a “sound” that would reconcile his personal artistic vision with the sensibility of his community and the political urgencies of his highly repressive historical moment. The film reflects on the political potential of the forms of sociality that coalesce around the jazz ensemble and on free jazz as a form of political praxis.

Through its aesthetic fluidity and improvisational logic, the film explores ways to “pass through” different media—sound and image, jazz and cinema—and different spaces/conditions—artistic improvisation and systemic oppression, improvisation and recording, live performance and film. By presenting as adjacent incongruous aspects of human life—the seemingly unbound creativity of the musicians on the one hand, and the worthlessness of their lives within oppressive labor conditions, in the context of mass incarceration and police brutality, on the other—the film explores in the same breath both the confinement and the expansiveness of black artistic and political radicalism. Through this “passages” the film connects the domestic scene of racial oppression to the liberation struggles of black and brown people all over the world while pursuing the question of the artist’s role in conditions of oppression.

The film circulated internationally as both an art and a political film for the way it connects free jazz to emancipatory politics. It was made in collaboration with artists communities in LA and features Horace Tapscott’s Pan-Afrikan People’s Arkestra, musicians who were experimenting with alternative forms of collectivity in their musical practice and were committed to the idea and politics of the live performance. The film itself is the only existing recording of some of the pieces we hear on the soundtrack. It is in homage to this vision and the way it continues to inspire young artists that we have sought to capture some of Clark’s legacy in this record. The film’s themes, form, and mode of production remain relevant for our current moment, especially in the context of the continued endangerment of black males in the social space.
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By: Liquid Blackness