Media Black Male
Three films by Wendell Bruno:
Media Black Male (1991)
The Landscape Within (1993)
I&I Outlook (1994)
November 20, 2016 - January 8, 2017
3315 West Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018
Image: Wendell Bruno, Media Black Male, 1991, Betamax transferred to digital video, 4:18 min
Media Black Male, 1991, 4 min, 18 sec
This is Bruno's first film project. Here, the artist challenges media's portrayal of Black masculinity and the objectified Black body. With a strong narrative backed by even stronger sounds, the artist’s use of his voice to end a story of race and injustice suggests a correlation to the film’s theme and Bruno himself. Bruno did, in fact, make the last minute decision to narrate the end, realizing that he too was a media Black male: a product of stereotypes, perpetuated by the media, with a repressed sexual and racial identity.
Image: Wendell Bruno, The Landscape Within, 1993, Betamax transferred to digital video, 8:49 min
The Landscape Within, 1993, 8 min, 49 sec
This, Bruno's second film, gets its title from Nigerian writer and poet Ben Okri’s 1981 novel of the same name. Where Okri’s protagonist grappled with his own creative aspirations, Bruno experimented with the possibility of truly subjective interpretation. This project was an investigation in pleasure; the ingredients required to experience pleasure. Distorted bodies and body parts lend to the morphed, surreal visuals, and investigation in, not only pleasure but, sexuality, race, and gender.
Image: Wendell Bruno, I & I Outlook, 1994, Betamax transfered to digital video, 9:05 min
I&I Outlook, 1994, 9 min, 5 sec
This film presents a coming-of-age story; the correlation between familial and social influences on identity formation. Stark imagery follows a young Black boy through doorways, gunshots, domestic violence, and police sirens.
Wendell Bruno was born in Trinidad and Tobago but has lived in Toronto since 1994, where he currently works in the film industry. He holds a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal where he majored in Film Production and Film Studies. He has made five short films that examine media stereotypes of Black masculinity and, more recently, relations between fathers and sons and mothers and sons.