Monday, July 10, 2006

Michael Paul Britto Open Call This Weekend! Saturday July, 15 & Sunday July, 16, 2006


To Whom It May Concern,

On Saturday July, 15 & Sunday July, 16, 2006 video artist "Michael Paul Britto" will be video taping subjects for a new video installation dealing with the "N" word. He will be asking subjects to say the "N" word on camera, and this footage will be used to comment on the power of the word, and its use as a term of endearment.

The shoot will take place from 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM at:

87 Lafayette St.
New York, NY 10013
3rd Floor Studio

All ethnicities are encouraged to come. Please be camera ready and
open to saying the "N" word for arts sake. All participants will be
asked to sign a release. Anyone under 18 must have parental consent
to participate email for form. Thanks in advance
for your time, and I look forward to seeing everyone this weekend!

Open Call: The "N" Project.

When: Saturday July, 15 & Sunday July, 16, 2006

Where: DCTV 87 Lafayette St. New York, NY 10013 ( 3rd Floor Studio)

Please pass this notice on! Thanks.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis is pleased to present two recent single channel video works by Michael Paul Britto.

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis is pleased to present two recent single channel video works by Michael Paul Britto as our Contemporary Project Series 2006. The works will be on view from September 15 through December 31, 2006.

The first work is a funny and irreverent action-movie trailer entitled Dirrrty Harriet Tubman that presents a unique re-imaging of freedom fighter Harriet Tubman as a blaxploitation super heroine. Contrary to the most common, indelible image of an aged Harriet Tubman from our culture imagination—a maternal stateswoman, a gentle Grandmother—Britto’s Tubman is re-imaged as a youthful, agile, and strong Pam Grier-like character that is ready to free her people and take-back-the-night as her perilous trips are reenacted in a contemporary setting wherein nothing deters this fearless Underground Railroad conductor. Britto is interested in looking at the past and reevaluating historical circumstance with a humorous corrective lens, in an immediately recognizable and accessible format. Aware of the recent revival of interest in cinema and 1970s culture, particularly interest in the proliferation of action and Kung-fu B movies, Britto acknowledges the influence of a genre that largely disappeared into obscurity in the 1980s. While textbooks may tell us about Tubman’s legendary accomplishments that altered the course of American history, Britto adds another dynamic layer to the women who brought freedom to so many— that she was also young. Co-opting the tropes of blaxploitation by bestowing Tubman with persona that matches her revolutionary actions, Britto presents to his generation an identifiably legend. Just as the films that provide source material for Britto’s work generated a huge poster industry, he likewise has created a drama-filled poster to accompany his trailer. This comical trailer and poster calls attention to a continuing struggle for freedom and self determination that is still evident even among a post 80s generation.

The second work, I’m A Slave 4 U presents a Britney Spears music video that is completely recast with black actors wearing 19th century slave costumes. Staged in a theater, Britto reworks the choreography to create a dance sequence based on common slave practices like domestic chores and picking cotton. The exaggerated gestures and movements of the dancers work to enhance Spears’ lyrical content and effectually renders her portrayal of herself as hot-for-you, sex-slave, absurd. Replacing Britney Spears is a fully clothed, gun-yielding Tubman who, as the central character, animates plantation labor set to a seductive soundtrack as a way to examine the internal complexities of race in a non-confrontational way.

In both of these works, Britto manipulates popular culture to elicit various feelings of rage, happiness, sadness, and empathy by provoking viewers to rethink how the mass media perpetuates racial and gender stereotypes. Britto uses humor to examine the discourse of black icons from a wide range of subject positions and perspectives. He uses the poster, movie trailer, and music video format as a platform to twist particular histories into compelling visual narratives that conflate truth in order to challenge perception.

Britto lives and works in New York. He has been included in the group exhibitions: AIM 26, Bronx Museum, New York; Black Panther Rank & File, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; S- Files, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan & El Museo del Barrio, New York; and Frequency, Studio Museum of Harlem, New York. Michael Paul Britto will discuss his work on November 16, 2006 at 7:00 pm at the Contemporary. The Contemporary Project Series introduces current work by emerging and established artists that is experimental in nature. Michael Paul Britto: Dirrrty Harriet Tubman is organized by Shannon Fitzgerald, Chief Curator, the Contemporary. In conjunction with Michael Paul Britto: Dirrrty Harriet Tubman, the Contemporary is proud to present Larry Krone: Artist/Entertainer and Janaina Tschäpe: Melantropics . For more information, please visit the Contemporary's website at The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis has grown to become one of the country's most important contemporary art museums and is dedicated to exhibiting the visual arts and artists of our time and to producing nationally recognized education programs. As a non-collecting institution, the Museum focuses its efforts on showing six to eight exhibitions a year, featuring local, national and international, well-known and "newly established" artists working in all types of media. In 2003, the Contemporary opened a new 27,200 square-foot space designed by Brad Cloepfil.