Southern California-based artist Nicole Miller works with film, video, and photography to explore themes including subjectivity, self-representation, and agency, especially as they relate to African American subjects. In Miller’s hands, film becomes a dynamic storytelling tool used to examine under-known histories and identities.
For her first exhibition at the California African American Museum, Miller debuts Athens, California (2016), a film she has been working on for a year. Commissioned by the county of Los Angeles, the artist captured the stories of students from Washington Prep High School living in the city of Athens, California, a predominantly black, heavily Hispanic, unincorporated community in the southern region of Los Angeles County. Often cited as one of the most dangerous places in the region, many of the students have been deeply affected by gang violence. Resisting the temptation to be viewed as a documentary film, this presentation explores not only the city and its high school residents, but also the racial segregation that exists in and the inequitable resources that are allocated to this specific neighborhood in Los Angeles.
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