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MMoCA Cinema: The Films of Edward Owens

November 30, 2023

7:00 pm

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

227 State Street Madison, Wisconsin, 53719


$7 for nonmembers • Free for MMoCA members (including the free membership tier Friends of MMoCA) and ages 18 and younger • Museum Lecture Hall

Autre Fois J’ai Aimé Une Femme | 1966 | 24 minutes
Tomorrow’s Promise | 1967 | 42 minutes
Remembrance: A Portrait Study | 1967 | 6 minutes
Private Imaginings and Narrative Facts | 1968-70 | 9 minutes

The films of pioneering queer Black experimental filmmaker Edward Owens can be characterized by their painterly approach, dramatic lighting, and superimposition and layering of images.  

Owens was a student of filmmaker Gregory Markopoulos at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1960s, and his films earned praise from critic Parker Tyler, among others. Owens abruptly stopped making films at age 20 after drug addiction and undiagnosed bipolar disorder began to take their toll.

The four completed works to be screened went largely unnoticed in the Film-Makers’ Cooperative catalogue until a critical reappraisal, led by scholar Ron Gregg and curator Ed Halter. Owens’ catalogue was recently restored by the Chicago Film Society, The Film-Makers’ Cooperative, and the John M. Flaxman Library at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The films subsequently have been screened at the Tate Modern, Museum of Modern Art, Conversations at the Edge in Chicago, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival according to the Chicago Film Society.

This program will screen 16mm prints from the Film-Makers’ Cooperative catalogue.