New York City
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, presents the Chicago premiere of DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation, with a First Night postshow talk with the artist on November 18. Deconstructing history and reclaiming the past, Rebirth of a Nation is an extraordinary undertaking, and ultimately a compelling, hopeful work.
Conceptual artist, writer, and musician Paul D. Miller, a.k.a. “DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid,” employs digitally-produced music, film samples, and new footage to create the production. A film that sparked both race riots and wide artistic praise, D.W. Griffith’s landmark silent film Birth of a Nation (1915) is based on the anti-black novel The Clansman. The film exalts a white “law and order” America, set in the Civil War and Reconstruction eras, and creates a frightening fictional African-American culture to justify the concept of white supremacy that dominated America throughout most of the nation’s history.