Fade to Black

1990, 32:51 min, color, sound

In FADE TO BLACK, Cokes and Trammel assemble a chronology of stereotyped cinematic representatives of African-Americans and a series of subjective narratives of racism in everyday social exchanges, constructing what he terms the "details of an ideology," both on and off the screen. Writes Cokes: "FADE TO BLACK is a meditation on contemporary race relations. In voiceover, two black men describe events that are unnoticed or discounted by whites. They examine gestures, hesitations, stares, remarks — the details of an ideology. Visually this work juxtaposes fragments from the action and credits of Hollywood films, text commentary, and a selective chronology of films which include representations of blacks. The work underlines the transitions between blackness as seen (or not seen) in the institution of cinema and blackness visible (or invisible) in extra-cinematic culture."

Production supported by Art Matters Inc. and Ann Gillstrap. In memoriam: Michael Griffith, Yusef Hawkins, Phillip Pannell, Edmund Perry, Juan Rodriguez, Michael Stewart.