PROGRAM FOUR: Ja’Tovia Gary

Part of No Time to Rest! Film Series

Stream below, for free, from December 9–15, 2020

The Giverny Document (Single Channel)
Ja’Tovia Gary, 2019, 41 min.

Color, black/white with stereo sound.

In a film that travels through time and space, from the streets of Harlem to Claude Monet’s gardens, The Giverny Document is a dense multi-textured poetic montage that explores the power of performance as examined through lived experiences and realities of Black women, the trauma stemming from misogyny, everyday racial violence, the commodification of the body, and larger issues stemming from racial and economic oppression. Gary’s use of performance firmly asserts the Black female presence in Western canonical art history to critique its absence and questions the bodily autonomy of Black women. Her long-form meditation around these idea results from a powerful, intentionally glitch-filled, chopped up aesthetic that draws from a variety of sources, film styles, and techniques including direct animation, use of archival film and video, and a “woman on the street” sequence in Harlem, during which Gary and a documentary crew interview Black women and girls about their own perceived safety in their bodies, in their communities, and in the world.

Screens courtesy the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery.