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Garrett Bradley: American Rhapsody

The Momentary announces the 2021 summer exhibition schedule which includes Momentary-organized exhibitions Cauleen Smith: Space Station, Radiant behind the Sun and Kenny Rivero: The Floor Is Crooked, along with Garrett Bradley: American Rhapsody. The Momentary also announces a new outdoor installation: Light of Freedom by Abigail DeVille. There is no cost to view visual art exhibitions or outdoor installations at the Momentary.

Saturday, July 3, 2021 to Sunday, September 19, 2021
Sun + Tue-Wed | 10am to 7pm, Thu-Sat | 10am to 10pm, Mon | Closed
Rates/Admission Prices

Admission is free for all.

The Momentary
507 SE E Street
Bentonville, AR 72712
Hours of Operation

Sun + Tue-Wed | 10am to 7pm
Thu-Sat | 10am to 10pm
Mon | Closed

New Orleans-based artist and filmmaker Garrett Bradley works across narrative, documentary, and experimental modes of filmmaking to explore the social, economic, and racial politics of everyday life. Garrett Bradley: American Rhapsody features a selection of three recent works by the artist—two single-channel videos and a multi-channel video installation—America (2019), AKA (2019), and Alone (2017).

In America, a multi-channel video installation, Bradley constructs a visual archive of early African American cinema, mixing found footage from Lime Kiln Club Field Day (the earliest-known film with an all-Black cast) and newly shot performances by non-trained actors of present-day slices of life. These pleasant visuals challenge its audience to consider what it might mean to see Black representation through a lens that privileges depictions of pleasure over spectacles of pain. AKA is the first in a trilogy of films about relationships between mothers and daughters born into interracial families or families of varying skin tones, exploring identity. The documentary short Alone follows the artist’s friend, Aloné Watts, as she navigates the intentionally complex US prison system.

In these films, Bradley explores concepts of race, class, familial relationships, social justice, southern culture, and US film history. As the frames come together to tell a narrative, mundane and ordinary life events become images of beauty and reverence, connecting the dots from past to present and offering a new vision for the future.

“Garrett Bradley is a brilliant storyteller, and we are excited to feature a dynamic trio of her films at the Momentary,” said Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, assistant curator at the Momentary. “Among many things, Bradley is going to expand our visitors’ awareness of the history of American film, while also, presenting new opportunities for visitor engagement in a gallery setting.”

Garrett Bradley’s short films and feature-length projects have been exhibited internationally at museums and festivals including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; New Museum, New York; New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana; Whitney Biennial 2019, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; The Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah; The Tribeca Film Festival, New York, among many others. Bradley has received numerous awards and honors. For her documentary film Time, she won the 2020 US Documentary Directing Award by the Sundance Film Festival, becoming the first African American woman to win in the category, and the 2020 Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Documentary. She also received a 2019-20 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, Italy.

Garrett Bradley: American Rhapsody will be on view in Gallery 2 and Gallery 3 at the Momentary. The exhibition is organized by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) and curated by Rebecca Matalon, CAMH Curator. Organized for the Momentary by Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, assistant curator.

Image Credits:
Installation view of Garrett Bradley: American Rhapsody, Contemporary Arts Museum
Houston, TX, 2019. Photo by Will Michels.