Mar 22nd 2021

Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich, 2019-2020, USA, ca 30 minutes, closed captions available

Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich’s rich and often surreal works blend narrative and documentary to explore the private worlds of Black women. Rooted in archival and field research, Hun-Ehrlich’s practice uses abstraction as a mode of resistance in depicting subjects deprived of self-autonomy under the exploitative gaze of the colonial camera. In these four films, she relays a fragmentary history of the United Order of Tents—the oldest African American women’s group in the United States, established by freed slaves in 1867; looks at her grandmother’s life and musical compositions; interrupts the white gaze of the Western canon; and meditates on a series of anonymous photographs of Black life, speculating on the inner lives of photographers and subjects. Program includes Spit on the Broom (2019), A Quality of Light (2019), Footnote to the West (2020), and Outfox the Grave (2020).

Reserve Tickets:


Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich Lecture and Conversation
March 25, 7:00 p.m. CT, Gene Siskel Film Center Virtual Cinema
This event will have live captions.

Join Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich and art historian Romi Crawford, professor in visual and critical studies and liberal arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, for this look at Hunt-Ehrlich’s practice, including her ongoing work with the United Order of Tents; her research into representation, abstraction, and the archive; and her feature-in-progress on the French surrealist writer Suzanne Césaire.


Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich’s work has screened all over the world, including at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of Art in New York and in film festivals such as the New Orleans Film Festival, Doclisboa, and BlackStar Film Festival. She has been featured in Essence magazine, the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Studio magazine, ARC Magazine, BOMBLOG, Guernica, and Small Axe, among others. She was named as one of Filmmaker magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film 2020” and is the recipient of a San Francisco International Film Festival 2020 Rainin Grant, a Rema Hort Mann Foundation 2019 Emerging Artist grant, a 2019 UNDO Fellowship, a 2015 TFI/ESPN Future Filmmaker Award, and a 2014 Princess Grace Award. Her work has been recognized by the Time Inc. Black Girl Magic Emerging Director’s series and the National Magazine Awards, and she has received grants from the National Black Programming Consortium and Glassbreaker Films. Hunt-Ehrlich has a degree in film and photography from Hampshire College and an MFA in film and media arts from Temple University. She is currently an assistant professor in film and television production at Queens College, City University of New York.

Organized by the Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation in collaboration with the Gene Siskel Film Center and the Video Data Bank, Conversations at the Edge is a dynamic weekly series of screenings, performances, and talks by groundbreaking media artists.

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