When I first started this daily art challenge, I knew I needed to set myself some rules to guide my choices. A different artist every day. No artists I already knew. And no artists who were straight, white, men. The whole point of the Daily Hart is to discover new voices and talents from different cultures and marginalized groups. But I knew that if I adhered to these rules, I might not fully understand every piece of artwork. I might not understand what the artist was trying to say within their own specific cultural context. Such as today’s helping, the short film Know the Ledge by Ibra Ake.
To be honest, I’ve watched this film several times, and I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it. I am neither Black nor American. I’ve never been to South Central LA, and I’ve never ridden on a motorcycle. There’s a lot going on in this film that I simply can’t relate to. And after watching it several times, I’ve decided that that’s okay. I don’t have to understand every cultural nuance in order to appreciate the artistry that’s on display. This film is beautifully shot, and the sound mix is wonderful. In particular, I loved the contrast of a classic French song with the Los Angeles setting.
I’m sure there’s a lot more that Ibra Ake is saying with this film that I’m missing, but I’m happy to have experienced it all the same. Which is how I know I was right to set myself the above rules. Because at the end of the day, not being familiar with a certain cultural context should never be an excuse to not broaden your horizons, artistic or otherwise.
Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!