Curated by the Hugh Kaul Curator of Contemporary Art Hallie Ringle
Screen Time is a selection of works by artists influenced by screens, big and small. From cell phones to movies, these artists create work about, including, and sometimes, on screens. Some artists work with video as a medium while others turn to painting or photography to reference the influence of movies, television, and technology in their work.
Both of these works examine the culture of consumerism as projected through their televisions. Work by Derrick Adams celebrates the power of Black celebrity while also critiquing the use of race, class, and gender to promote consumerism and capitalism. In Cell Phones, Orlando 2004, Chris Jordan pictures a wasteland of discarded cell phones, drawing attention to the vast consumption and waste of technology.
Derrick Adams, I Come in Peace, 2014. Mixed media, collage on paper. Collection of the Art Fund, Inc. at the Birmingham Museum of Art; Purchase with funds provided by the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art, AFI.152.2014.
Chris Jordan, Cell Phones, Orlando 2004, 2004. Inkjet print. Museum purchase with funds provided by John Hagefstration and the Photography Guild, 2005.23.
As Seen on TV
The works in this section represent important moments during the Civil Rights Movement made famous through television and print media. Kerry James Marshall’s As Seen on TV (2002) references the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham by white supremacist terrorists. Glenn Kaino’s Bridge celebrates the Olympic athlete Tommie Smith, whose image was widely circulated in print and television media after he raised his fist as a salute to the Black Power movement and in protest of human rights violations. For Bridge, Kaino cast Smith’s arm and created a 100-foot-long installation. The BMA’s piece is a small section of that monumental artwork.
Kerry James Marshall, As Seen on TV, 2002. Enamel on plastic vase, plastic flowers, framed video still, wood and glass shelf with steel bracket and chain. Collection of the Art Fund, Inc. at the Birmingham Museum of Art; Gift of Jack Drake, AFI.1.2007.1-.3.
Glenn Kaino, Bridge (Section 1 of 6), 2014. Fiberglass, steel wire, and gold paint. Collection of the Art Fund, Inc. at the Birmingham Museum of Art; Purchase with funds provided by members and friends of the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art, AFI.6.2016.
Both works here appear in some form on screens. Ann Hamilton’s video work shows the artist methodically writing the alphabet and was made to be seen on a screen. Ebony Patterson’s intricate tapestries can also be seen on the small screen (her work was featured on the TV show Empire in 2015) and references social media. Many of her intricate works juxtapose the visual language of Jamaican dancehalls with images of young men and women who have been murdered. Patterson is interested in the vast circulation of images of murdered people of color online while having been completely overlooked by society during their lives.
Ann Hamilton, (reserve · video/writing), 1996/2000. 30 minute color video with sound on DVD, DVD player and LCD screen. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art, 2001.75.
Ebony G. Patterson, among the weeds, plants, and peacock feathers, 2014. Mixed media on jacquard tapestry with handmade shoes and crocheted leaves. Collection of the Art Fund, Inc. at the Birmingham Museum of Art; Purchase with funds provided by the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art, AFI.150.2015a-e.
These works incorporate visual references to television and cinema. Philip-Lorca DiCorcia’s photographs blend documentary and staged photography, incorporating the lush lighting and backgrounds of a stage with everyday people. Odili Donald Odita’s Gravity’s Rainbow recalls both abstract landscapes as well as linear TV static.
Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Head #01, 2000. Fujicolor Crystal Archive print mounted to Plexiglas. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art, 2003.34.
Odili Donald Odita, Gravity’s Rainbow, 2001. Acrylic on canvas. Purchase in memory of Iain MacPherson Alexander by docents, friends of the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art, and Margaret, Brenden and Bruce Alexander, 2002.138.