The Detroit Institute of Arts presents the world premiere Saturday of “The Meaning of Hope.” The new film by Bill Gaskins examines the concept of hope through individual portraits of Detroit residents and the ideals expressed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech.
The oration was first delivered in Detroit in 1963, two months before the historic Civil Rights March on Washington. A special panel discussion follows the 20-minute film.
The program begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16 in the DFT Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.
Bill Gaskins is a Professor of Visual Art at Wayne State University and is a Visiting Professor at Cornell University.
From the DIA:
The Meaning of Hope is a moving new twenty-minute film by Bill Gaskins that extends his acclaimed work in photographic portraiture into cinema, challenges the one-dimensional representations of the City of Detroit through emphasis on the faces and voices of some of its citizens, and expands the public’s knowledge of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s thoughts beyond his “I Have a Dream” speech. In 2011, Gaskins was the Endowed Chair of Visual Art at Wayne State University when he developed the project.
This special premiere of Mr. Gaskins’ film will be followed by an on-stage panel discussion moderated by Valerie J. Mercer, DIA Curator of the General Motors Center for African American Art. Panel participants will include filmmaker and artist Bill Gaskins, poet, playwright and the 2011 Kresge Eminent Artist Bill Harris, and DIA film curator Elliot Wilhelm. This event is sponsored by the Whitney Foundation. Admission is free. (complete program approximately 90 min.)
From Cornell University:
Gaskins to premier short film
Visiting associate professor of art Bill Gaskins will be premiering his short film The Meaning of Hope at the Detroit Institute of the Arts (DIA) Film Theatre on February 16. The screening will be held at 2 p.m. with a panel discussion to follow. The Meaning of Hope examines the concept of hope through individual portraits of Detroit residents.
“The fundamental objective of the project includes extending my engagement with the photographic portrait through cinema, expanding the aptitude of viewers beyond ‘I have a dream’ in their thoughts about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and offering a representation of the city of Detroit beyond the genre of ‘ruin porn’ associated with the city through high art photography and news media,” says Gaskins.
The panel will be moderated by Valerie J. Mercer, DIA curator of the General Motors Center for African American Art and will include Gaskins, poet, playwright, and artist Bill Harris, and DIA film curator Elliot Wilhelm.
Also, on March 8, Gaskins will be presenting “Learning About Learning: Solving The Course Evaluation Problem” at the national conference for the Society for Photographic Education.