#blacktivist, 2015

video

GermanEnglish

Mario Pfeifer's 4K video features the new song Blacktivist, written by Erick Arc Elliott, Meechy Darko, and Zombie Juice, who form the Flatbush ZOMBIES, a rap group based in Brooklyn. Conceived as a collaborative project, it reflects on police brutality, selective enforcement, and the right of self-defense. Scenes reminiscent of the aesthetics of conventional music videos come together with found footage, documentary shots, and 3-D animations to form a critical analysis of our times. At its core, #blacktivist asks how violence and repression are negotiated and reappraised in a supposedly post-racial society.

Mario Pfeifer's 4K video features the new song Blacktivist, written by Erick Arc Elliott, Meechy Darko, and Zombie Juice, who form the Flatbush ZOMBIES, a rap group based in Brooklyn. Conceived as a collaborative project, it reflects on police brutality, selective enforcement, and the right of self-defense. Scenes reminiscent of the aesthetics of conventional music videos come together with found footage, documentary shots, and 3-D animations to form a critical analysis of our times. At its core, #blacktivist asks how violence and repression are negotiated and reappraised in a supposedly post-racial society.

GermanEnglish

#blacktivist aims to take a stand on current events. The title refers to “black activist on activist,” the first verse of the song by the Flatbush ZOMBIES, which is followed by ambiguous references to everyday and consumer culture in the United States. In addition to delivering critical commentaries on the world of television, the lyrics reflect about the First and Second Amendments, which protect the right to free speech, freedom of religion, as well as the right to bear arms for self-defense. In the video, the conflict between armed self-defense and escalating gun violence are juxtaposed with the meaning of images and the power of the voice. Sequences of police violence taken by surveillance and body cameras as well as mobile devices show the escalation of the conflict. In other scenes, the Flatbush ZOMBIES perform in a 3-D animated world between digital hashtags, cinematic transitions, and chroma key landscapes, while addressing current events in world politics. The narrative culminates with the rappers being reborn as pacifist freedom fighters.


The second part of the project features a multi-channel video installation that analyzes the music video through documentary sequences produced at a 3-D gun manufacturing workshop in Austin, Texas. Defense Distributed is a pending non-profit corporation that in its mission statement justifies its open-source weapon designs with reference to the right of self-defense, thereby challenging the legal and economic monopoly of weapon distribution in the United States. #blacktivist is thus not (just) a music video, but a reflection on the significance mediated imagery for our society.

#blacktivist aims to take a stand on current events. The title refers to “black activist on activist,” the first verse of the song by the Flatbush ZOMBIES, which is followed by ambiguous references to everyday and consumer culture in the United States. In addition to delivering critical commentaries on the world of television, the lyrics reflect about the First and Second Amendments, which protect the right to free speech, freedom of religion, as well as the right to bear arms for self-defense. In the video, the conflict between armed self-defense and escalating gun violence are juxtaposed with the meaning of images and the power of the voice. Sequences of police violence taken by surveillance and body cameras as well as mobile devices show the escalation of the conflict. In other scenes, the Flatbush ZOMBIES perform in a 3-D animated world between digital hashtags, cinematic transitions, and chroma key landscapes, while addressing current events in world politics. The narrative culminates with the rappers being reborn as pacifist freedom fighters.


The second part of the project features a multi-channel video installation that analyzes the music video through documentary sequences produced at a 3-D gun manufacturing workshop in Austin, Texas. Defense Distributed is a pending non-profit corporation that in its mission statement justifies its open-source weapon designs with reference to the right of self-defense, thereby challenging the legal and economic monopoly of weapon distribution in the United States. #blacktivist is thus not (just) a music video, but a reflection on the significance mediated imagery for our society.

Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
Mario Pfeifer, #blacktivist, 2015, 4K videos, color, stereo, video stills
GermanEnglish

LUDLOW 38, NEW YORK, 2015

Mario Pfeifer

Mario Pfeifer was born in 1981 in Dresden, Germany. His work explores representational structures and conventions in the medium of film, in locations ranging from Mumbai to California to the Western Sahara. Conceiving each project out of a specific cultural situation, he researches social-political backgrounds and weaves further cross-cultural art historical, filmic and political references into a richly layered practice, ranging from film and video installations to photographs and text installations. Often, Pfeifer collaborates on publications that reconsider these projects, offering research materials and critical investigations by writers and thinkers of related fields, concerning issues suggested in his projects for a wider social-political discussion. After his studies in Leipzig (HGB) and Berlin (UDK), Pfeifer graduates from Willem de Rooij's class at Städelschule Frankfurt in 2008. He is a Fulbright fellow in Los Angeles (California Institute of the Arts) in 2008/09. Further grants and projects lead him to Bangkok, Mumbai, Marrakesh, Beirut, Tierra del Fuego, Santiago de Chile, and New York. He lives between Berlin and New York.



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