In the Street
With Ken Jacobs and Jem Cohen
Artists Ken Jacobs and Jem Cohen will talk about their video and photography installations in the Brandon Gallery’s “Street Scenes” exhibition, and will also screen examples of their street cinematography. Ken Jacobs will screen the restored, uncut 27-minute version of his first film, Orchard Street, capturing the street life of Jewish denizens of the Lower East Side in 1955. Jem Cohen will show two of his newer short street films, The Wheel Tonight, filmed in Coney Island, and Helianthus Corner Blues.
The program will begin with a screening of the 1948 film by Helen Levitt, Janice Loeb, and James Agee, In the Street. This 14-minute silent film was shot with hidden cameras and documents Harlem street life, especially that of its children at play. The documentation is poetic and non-didactic, and remains an inspiring influence on the work of Jacobs and Cohen. As Roy Arden wrote, “The events in the film are presented to be looked at rather than pressed into service for any other purpose. In the Street is reportage as art.”