Films by Leila Weefur and Nile Harris

Films by Leila Weefur and Nile Harris

Leila Weefur, PLAY†PREY: A Gospel (still), 2021.

What are you afraid of?

Films by Leila Weefur and Nile Harris

Admission starts at $5

February 16, 2023, 7pm
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Thursday, February 16 at 7pm for films by multidisciplinary artists Leila Weefur and Nile Harris. The evening will commence with a screening of Harris’s film fill it with air (call it self care) (2021, 20 minutes) followed by two films by Weefur, Between Beauty and Horror (2019, 19 minutes) and PLAY†PREY: A Gospel (2021, 12 minutes). This screening constitutes the second program in the three-part What are you afraid of?, curated by Daniella Brito and taking place at e-flux Screening Room In February and March 2023. Read more on the series here

For performance artist Nile Harris, childhood pleasure and play haunts the present day. The artist repeatedly uses a bounce castle, saturated in cheerful reds and yellows, to build anxiety and tension. Through the repetitive and laborious act of jumping, Harris embodies the push and pull of the everyday, leaving the viewer to crave release. 

Weefur leans into the surreal to stage haunting scenes that fracture the boundaries between fantasy and reality. This slippage is notable in the works Between Beauty and Horror and PLAY†PREY: A Gospel. In the former, crushed blackberries stain and splatter as they’re lathered onto human body parts like blood. Something as innocuous, yet, temptatious as fruit is a visual reminder of violence and guilt. In the latter, a bible, suspended in blackness rotates with menacing restraint amid lit white candles. Through this chilling iconography, practices like worship and ritual become nightmarish seances that converge collective trauma with ravenous lust.

Nile Harris, fill it with air (call it self care) (2021, 20 minutes)
Made in collaboration with performer Malcolm-x Betts and sound designers slowdanger, fill it with air (call it self care) sets an improvised physical score by Harris inside of a sound-responsive bounce castle. Interweaving sonic feedback as a malleable material, the unique vocal utterances of the cast create a biometrically unique musical composition that cannot be repeated.

Leila Weefur, Between Beauty and Horror (2019, 19 minutes)
Between Beauty and Horror explores the symbiotic nature of beauty and horror as an intrinsic part of the Black experience. The work engages the senses by using the blackberry fruit as a metaphor for Black being, and explores the lived experiences that show up in the shadows of terror only to reveal themselves as a gifts in disguise. It posits abjection, violence, and eroticism as the ingredients that make up the “between” and are considered to be the binding agents of beauty and horror.

Leila Weefur, PLAY†PREY: A Gospel (2021, 12 minutes)
A queer Black child pens a letter to God, reflecting on their relationship to power, the Church, and their past and future selves. PLAY†PREY explores the playful impulses, innocence, and underlying violence implicated in the experience of queer Black children in the Christian Church.

For more information, contact

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.           
–For elevator access, please RSVP to The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.           
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the Screening Room and this bathroom.

Film, Performance, Religion & Spirituality, Sexuality & Eroticism
Violence, Everyday Life
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What are you afraid of?

Nile Harris is a performer and director of live works of art. He has done a few things and hopes to do a few more, God willing.

Leila Weefur (he/they/she) is an artist, writer, and curator based in Oakland, CA. Through video and installation, their interdisciplinary practice examines the performativity intrinsic to systems of belonging. The work brings together concepts of sensorial memory, abject Blackness, hyper surveillance, and the erotic. Weefur is a recipient of the Walter & Elise Haas Creative Work Fund and the MSP California Black Voices Project. Weefur has worked with local and national institutions including CCA’s Wattis Institute, McEvoy Foundation, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, San Francisco Art Institute, Museum of the African Diaspora, The Kitchen, and Smack Mellon. Weefur’s writing has been published in SEEN by BlackStar Productions, Sming Sming Books, Baest Journal, and more. Weefur is a lecturer at Stanford University and a member of The Black Aesthetic.

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