Thursday, May 24 at 7:30 pm
Time Let Me Play
Screening to be followed by discussion with Paul Rekret, Sukhdev Sandhu, and Dhanveer Singh Brar moderated by Brett Story
A program and discussion exploring popular culture’s negotiations with childhood, innocence, and coming of age in an epoch of social and economic crisis. Children’s performances of innocence, purity, or vulnerability are germane to popular culture. So too are the pastoral spaces of childhood; the Neverlands or Narnias from which adults are mostly excluded. But what might childhood mean in an era where the resources needed to segregate children from adult worlds become ever scarcer and unevenly distributed?
Featuring images and stories of both the familiar tale of child stars gone off the rails as well as experiments in music and film that seek to treat children as equals and autonomous, Time Let Me Play asks whether children might appear in music and film as more than vessels for adult desires.
The program will be introduced through a multi-media presentation by Paul Rekret, author of Down With Childhood: Pop Music and the Crisis of Innocence, and will be followed by a wider discussion led by Brett Story with Dhanveer Singh Brar and Sukhdev Sandhu.
Peter Nestler, 11 min., 1963
“A cheerful take on the lives of school children in a Swiss rural environment. Young pupils recite short essays they have written on subjects ranging from the long walk to school, the distribution of milk during breaks, and to a brawl in the courtyard.” – Mubi
John Hubley & Faith Hubley, 8 min., 1968
Two little girls take on marriage, babies, love and death when they let their imaginations roam.
Ten Minutes Older
Herz Frank, 10 min., 1978
Various emotions cross the faces of children as they watch a show.
Paul Rekret teaches political theory at Richmond American International University. He is most recently the author most recently of Down With Childhood: Pop Music and the Crisis of Innocence (Repeater 2017). His work has appeared in Frieze, the New Inquiry and the Quietus, among others.
Sukhdev Sandhu directs the Colloquium for Unpopular Culture at New York University. He runs the Texte und Töne imprint, curated The Infinite Child season for Flaherty NYC in 2015, writes for The Wire, and is the author of Other Musics (MoMA PS1, 2016).
Dhanveer Singh Brar is a scholar of Black Studies, as it intersects with Cultural Studies, Sound Studies and Critical Theory. The research he undertakes covers theorizations of black diasporic sonic culture from the mid-twentieth century to the present, and the racial politics of critical thought. He has published in journals such as Social Text, Darkmatter and Cesura // Acceso. He teaches in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London.