Friday Films > Marlon Riggs

Marlon T. Riggs
Tongues Untied
1989 single-channel video, color, sound; 55:00 min.
Museum purchase, v1993.5

Friday, Nov 27, 2020 - 5:00 PM

Join us every last Friday of the month for live screenings of film and video works from the Museum’s permanent collection. We’re presenting Marlon Riggs’s Tongues Untied on Friday, November 27, at 5:00 PM PST. Find the live stream on our Vimeo channel.

Marlon T. Riggs was a filmmaker, poet, and activist. In the late 1980s, Riggs explored issues of race and sexuality to produce wide-ranging representations of societal difference. Giving voice to the marginalized from both Black and gay communities, Riggs addressed the intersection of these distinct identities. This experimental documentary Tongues Untied combines poetry, performance, and first-person narrative into a frenetic and uninhibited expression of identity. Working against stereotypes of Black gay men, Riggs drew on his own experiences in the largely gay Castro District in San Francisco, as well as popular depictions of Black men in mainstream media. The film presents Riggs’s poetry as read by the artist himself as well as his collaborator and friend, the poet Essex Hemphill.

This screening is presented in dialogue with and in anticipation of World Aids Day and A Day With(out) Art on December 1. Organized by Visual AIDS, A Day With(out) Art 2020: Transmissions features a program of six new videos considering the impact of HIV and AIDS beyond the United States.