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At the 1968 Olympics, Tommie Smith raised his fist during the medal ceremony. This defiant gesture has reverberated ever since, adopted by generations of civil rights activists in the fight for social justice. Fifty years later, in an attempt to unpack the true scope of his sacrifice, artist Glenn Kaino partners with Smith to finally tell his story through art.
2020 • Mexico, USA • 84 min
Afshin Shahidi, Director
Afshin Shahidi is a New York Times Best Selling Author and award winning Photographer, Cinematographer, and Filmmaker. His journey began in his native Iran, where he was surrounded and inspired by the art of his city of Mashad. The films, poetry and rich culture of Iran became foundational and influential to his work. Shahidi migrated to the United States, alongside his mother, settling in Minneapolis. He considers himself fortunate to be placed in a city so steeped in art and music and that ultimately connected him with the most important collaborator and supporter of his career – the late musical Icon, Prince.
Glenn Kaino, Director
Glenn Kaino was born in 1972 in Los Angeles. Kaino’s works, often functioning as poetic contradictions, aim to reconcile conflicting ideologies, opposing systems, and strict dichotomies in material and experiential ways.
Conceiving his practice as conceptual kitbashing, akin to a model maker’s way of appropriating readymade kits to assemble unique models, Kaino reconfigures the conditions of distinct cultural spheres into ecologies of making in which seemingly disparate materials and ideas are brought into contact.
His studio practice includes sculpture, painting, filmmaking, performance, installation, and large-scale public work. He also operates outside the traditional purview of contemporary art, instigating collaborations with other modes of culture—ranging from tech to music to political organizing.
Major solo exhibitions of Kaino’s work have been presented at the High Museum of Art; the San Jose Museum of Art; Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati; the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; the Andy Warhol Museum; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Artpace San Antonio, and REDCAT, Los Angeles. Kaino’s work has been featured in Desert X, the 13th International Cairo Biennale, the 12th Biennale de Lyon, Performa (2009), the 2004 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, the 2004 Whitney Biennial, and Prospect.3, New Orleans. Kaino’s work is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Orange County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
Kaino is also an Emmy and Webby Award-winning producer and documentarian, whose films have been featured at the Tribeca Film Festival and SXSW.