SAINT AUGUSTINE — Selected with curator Rachael Rakes, Crisp-Ellert Art Museum artist-in-residence and curator Staci Bu Shea will host a screening of the 1975 film “Nightcleaners” on Wednesday, March 8 (International Women’s Day) at 6:30 p.m. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Bu Shea and Rakes on the film, feminized labor and consciousness-raising practices and forms. The event will take place in Flagler College’s Kenan Hall, Room 300.
Nightcleaners (Part 1) is a documentary made by Berwick Street Collective (Marc Karlin, Mary Kelly, James Scott and Humphry Trevelyan) about the campaign to unionize the women who cleaned office blocks at night and who were being victimized and underpaid. Intending at the outset to make a campaign film, the Collective was forced to turn to new forms in order to represent the forces at work between the cleaners, the Cleaner’s Action Group and the unions – and the complex nature of the campaign itself. The result was an intensely self-reflexive film, which implicated both the filmmakers and the audience in the processes of precarious, invisible labor. It is increasingly recognized as a key work of the 1970s and as an important precursor, in both subject matter and form, to current political art practice.
Rachael Rakes is an independent critic, curator, and teacher based in New York. She is currently the Programmer at Large for the Film Society of Lincoln Center and co-founder of the Art of the Real festival; co-editor of the film section of the “Brooklyn Rail;” and editor-at-large for Verso Books. Rakes has written criticism in numerous outlets, most recently for “Art-Agenda,” “Artforum,” and “Ocula.” With Leo Goldsmith, she is at work on a book on the collaborative practices and media critique of radical filmmaker Peter Watkins, which received a 2014 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.
Bu Shea has organized a film program as part of a spring residency at the Crisp-Ellert titled “The shape of my kin networks looks more like a trellis or an esplanade than a tree.” The program is titled after a line from Donna Haraway’s “The Companion Species Manifesto,” a book that Bu Shea is continuously rereading throughout the residency, to emphasize the weaving of relationships, practices and objects as an organizing form and methodology. The program focuses on group practices toward a task that is never single, and features three screenings with special invited guests to talk about each film: “Every Little Thing” by Nicolas Philibert with Carolyn Lazard (February 22), “Nightcleaners” by Berwick Street Collective with Rakes (March 8), and “The Joycean Society” (2013) with Dr. Craig Woelfel (April 5). For more information about Bu Shea’s residency, please visit http://www.flagler.edu.
Kenan 300 is on the third floor and is wheelchair accessible via the elevator. There is a single stall, wheelchair accessible restroom available on the third floor. This space is not scent-free, but we do ask that attendees come fragrance-free. If you require ASL interpretation for the conversation portion of the program, or have any other access needs, contact Julie Dickover by 3 p.m. on Friday, March 3 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CEAM Artist Residency is supported by a grant from the Dr. JoAnn Crisp-Ellert Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.