Formerly known as Wildcat, the majority African-American community of Grayson, Oklahoma, has a longstanding legacy of cowboy culture that dates back to the earliest years of the twentieth century. Wildcat captures the rodeo lifestyle of real Grayson residents, while inserting dreamlike visions of a young girl clad in white. She embodies Aunt Janet, one of the founders of the Grayson rodeo, who died shortly before the film’s release. Director Kahlil Joseph says that Wildcat is “an experiment inspired by the composition and performance of jazz music.” Its non-narrative form allows for a fluid experience that takes the viewer from barrel racing and bull riding, to drives along countryside vistas and small town gatherings. The film’s black-and-white imagery is complemented by a meditative score by the experimental hip-hop musician Flying Lotus.
Kahlil Joseph is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker whose work bridges the worlds of film, music, and fine art. Wildcat was included in the Artists’ Film Biennial 2014 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, England. Joseph’s short films have been included in exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California. He received critical acclaim for films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013, and at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015.
This exhibition is organized by the McNay Art Museum.
The Elizabeth Huth Coates Exhibition Endowment and the Arthur and Jane Stieren Fund for Exhibitions are generously funding this exhibition.
Kahlil Joseph, Wildcat (video still), 2013. Courtesy of The Underground Museum.