Urban geography and fantastic narratives converge in Vernon Avenue and Untitled (Hilliard Homes), two short films by emerging filmmakers Steffani Jemison, Amiel Melnick, and Andreas Warisz. Featuring a rare performance by R&B sensation SideTrack and other special musical guests.
By Steffani Jemison & Amiel Melnick
What’s greater than God
More evil than the devil
The poor have it
The rich need it
And if you eat it you will die?
—riddle, origin unknown
Through a series of documentary and improvised encounters featuring our friends and neighbors, Vernon Avenue turns the vernacular and everyday into the monumental and mysterious, and considers what is at stake in real and fantastic cinematic images of urban living. Along the way: riddles and jokes, allegory, back-story, promises, puppies, boredom.
Featuring Tatianna James, Rambo, and SideTrack. Shot on location, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn 2007. Made possible with support from Jean Stein and The Grand Street Foundation. Thanks to East River Commedia and The Segue Foundation.
UNTITLED (Hilliard Homes)
By Andreas Warisz
“While many Chicago Housing Authority sites have been maligned for their monotonous, institutional-looking architecture, the Raymond Hilliard Homes is regarded as an aesthetic gem… More than 30 years after its construction, the Hilliard site remains architecturally unique, a bold expression of individuality that shatters the conventions of public housing.”
—Chicago Housing Authority
Perspectives get internalized and manifest themselves in gestures that become part of a process of image production. Architecture, of both subjects and structures, functions as an accumulation of perspectives over time.
The architecture of the Raymond Hilliard Homes is the image of a modernist building, an image refurbished and directed to compete with contemporary conceptions of successful and attractive social space within the highly gentrified environment of Chicago’s South Loop. Alongside, the architecture of the subject is an image that is produced and edited through a succession of gestures and a multiplicity of distinct perspectives within the premeditated and mediated structure of a video shoot.