Installation view over the room "Jazz", a dark room with a big bed in the middle

Installation view, "Jazz" Henri Matisse, Jazz serigraphy © Succession H Matisse/Bildupphovsrätt 2024. Photo: Mattias Lindbäck/Moderna Museet

Film Programme

“Seven Rooms and a Garden” features a room where you can watch films inspired by Henri Matisse’s artist’s book “Jazz” (1947). The film programme is in chapters that alternate throughout the exhibition period. Have a seat on the big bed and watch films by artists such as Charles Atlas, Tony Cokes, Every Ocean Hughes, Bouchra Khalili, Santiago Mostyn, Sun Ra, Cauleen Smith and David Wojnarowicz.

Currently on Display

Chapter 4: Lights – Camera – Play!
30 January–10 March 2024

In the spirit of dialogue and improvisation that marks this gallery, two films from the Moderna Museet’s collection here show how play comes into the relationship between artists – collective experiments that the camera appears to have caught in the moment. The two filmmakers share the use of the camera as an engaged participant rather than a neutral observer.

“Joy is an act of resistance” – so reads the opening line of American poet Toi Derricotte’s (b 1941) “The Telly Cycle” (2008). A defiant statement about the importance of play and celebration even in difficult circumstances, strongly embraced within black feminism.

Curator: Lena Essling

blue image with a text that reads madness, absolute madness.
Tony Cokes, SM BNGRZ 1 + 2, 2021 Stillbild ur film © Tony Cokes 2024. Courtesy the artist, Greene Naftali, New York, Felix Gaudlitz, Vienna, Hannah Hoffman, Los Angeles, and Electronic Arts Intermix, New York
film still, children in marching band uniforms and musical instruments
Cauleen Smith, Space is the Place (A March for Sun Ra), 2011 Film still © Cauleen Smith 2024
Previous Chapters

The Politics of Space

30 September–16 November 2023
In the first chapter of the film programme we consider the questions of belonging and self-representation that play a key role in this exhibition – through the lens of artists who work or have worked in Stockholm. The artists examine public space: how we give it meaning, who it ”belongs” to, and how we can activate it differently.’

If the home is ”an inside space”, as Rashid Johnson puts it, that one gets to ”shape and define”, then public space is an exterior space that we all own, shape, and give

Sense and Sense (15 min, 2010)
by Every Ocean Hughes

Delay (4 min, 2014)
by Santiago Mostyn

If you could speak Swedish… (23 min, 2001)
by Esra Ersen

Paralyzed (3 min, 2003)
by Klara Lidén

Space is the place

14 November–17 December 2023
In this chapter, we travel to places far and near, through the legacy of jazz legends Sun Ra (1914−1993) and Alice Coltrane (1937−2007). First, we land in Chicago, where artist Cauleen Smith (b. 1967) filmed “Space is the Place (A March for Sun Ra)”. This project draws on the work of the groundbreaking composer Sun Ra, who channeled African-American history, science-fiction, and poetry towards a new vision of the future. He was a key figure in Afrofuturism, in which the histories of slavery and oppression of black people is evoked through fantasy and science-fiction.

Smith captures the spontaneous performance of the Rich South High School marching band playing Sun Ra’s composition Space is the Place. Undeterred by the pouring rain and the evident confusion of onlookers, the young musicians display great enthusiasm playing, singing, and dancing to Sun Ra’s still-powerful drum beat.

We resume our journey with Cauleen Smith: a pilgrimage to utopian spaces across the United States, accompanied by a soundtrack of Alice Coltrane’s “One for the Father” (1978).

Space is the Place (A March for Sun Ra) (11 min, 2011)
by Cauleen Smith

Space is the Place (85 min, 1974)
by Sun Ra

Pilgrim (2017)
by Cauleen Smith

Tony Cokes

19 December 2023–28 January 2024
In this third chapter of the film program, we delve into the work of American artist and filmmaker Tony Cokes (b. 1956).

Cokes started creating video essays in the 1980s with a keen interest in our affective experience of colour and sound. He mixes found material, whether that be documentary footage, fragments from academic texts on black histories, or electronic and popular music.

In his work, Cokes subverts (mis)representations of racial identities, investigating the emergence of house music in Chicago within Afro-American communities in the late 1970s, and the role of music in shaping our shared understanding of cultural history.

Black Celebration: A Rebellion Against the Commodity
by Tony Cokes (17 min, 1988)

Mikrohaus, or the black atlantic?
by Tony Cokes (31 min, 2006–2008)

1!+: a dubstep primer
by Tony Cokes (37 min, 2001)

closeup of a mouth in the middle of a sentence, teeth showing
Esra Ersen, If you could speak Swedish..., 2001 Film Still © Esra Ersen/VG Bildkunst, Bonn 2024
A person wearing a headpiece in silver looks towards the camera
Sun Ra, Space is the Place, 1974 Film Still, Courtesy Rapid Eye Movies, Cologne 2024
Closeup of a person looking beyond the camera
Santiago Mostyn, Delay, 2014 Stillbild ur film © Santiago Mostyn 2024
diapositive of landscape
Cauleen Smith, Pilgrim, 2017 Film Still © Cauleen Smith 2024

More about this exhibition