MELINDA JAMES

Director of Photography

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‘MOURNING IS AN ACT OF LOVE,’ is an in-person experience of SF Urban Film Festival’s two-year residency with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Susannah Smith, Festival Producer, curated the installation which takes place on the exterior walls, windows, and walkways of the YBCA building. Comprised of photography, video, glass painting, poetry and large-scale projections, the installation features artists: Adam Sings in the Timber, Ada Pinkston, Tatyana Falalizadeh, Cheyenne Concepcion, Logan Lynette Borroughs, Thao Nguyen, Susannah Smith, Michael Warr, Monica Magoto, Javira Godoy, Susan Horowitz, Mark Ramos, and Adrian Garcia Gomez.

Curatorial Statement by Susannah Smith:
From altars in our homes to large marble structures in our city centers, memorials and monuments provide a physical space for us to gather and grieve. We mourn because we love.

We create intimate and public spaces to remember that which we hold most dear. In this moment though, where connection is so confined to the virtual, we find ourselves struggling to mourn together.  Simultaneously, the debates around memorials and monuments—which should stay, which should go, who we are remembering—have made them lightning rods for the deep fractures in our world.

The films, photos, and participatory art in MOURNING IS AN ACT OF LOVE ask us to reconsider memorial making, and reimagine how we build public experiences that are rooted in our histories, acknowledge our grief, and use love to inspire us to work together for our collective future.

For this in-person experience, I created two video works: Between One World and the Next, a large-scale video projection, and Know That I’ve Enjoyed Sunshine, a four-channel video installation.



Know That I’ve Enjoyed Sunshine and Between One World and the Next at YBCA




Between One World and the Next
Format: Digital Video
Runtime: 4 minutes
Synopsis: The space between past moments that have sustained myself and the uncertainity of future ones that can only be lived through. The realm of dreams. What may not be immediately apparent, but is nonetheless real.

Credits
Director/Cinematographer/Editor: Melinda James
Producer: Susannah Smith
Original Score: Thao Nguyen

Exhibitions
2021
  • Mourning Is An Act of Love, SF Urban Film Festival. YBCA, San Francisco, CA. 





Know That I’ve Enjoyed Sunshine
Format: Super 8, 16mm, Digital Video
Runtime: 4 minutes
Synopsis: Composed of moments from her personal archive, Know That I’ve Enjoyed Sunshine, is a four-channel video installation exploring the presence of absence. The work looks at the way joy, pleasure, and longing become interwoven in the recalling and remembering of moments passed and the people and places found within them. By looking back at where we have found love, we acknowledge its nuance and almost inexpressible complexity—the weight of something heavy left by all that was good and the acknowledgement for new experiences that will eventually come to fill that space.

Credits
Director/Cinematographer/Editor: Melinda James
Producer: Susannah Smith

Exhibitions
2021
  • Mourning Is An Act of Love, SF Urban Film Festival. YBCA, San Francisco, CA. 


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