From altars in our homes to large marble structures in our city centers, memorials and monuments provide a physical space for us to gather and grieve. We mourn because we love. We create intimate and public spaces to remember that which we hold most dear. In this moment though, where connection is so confined to the virtual, we find ourselves struggling to mourn together. Simultaneously, the debates around memorials and monuments—which should stay, which should go, who we are remembering—have made them lightning rods for the deep fractures in our world.
YBCA and SFUFF have teamed up to present MOURNING IS AN ACT OF LOVE, an in-person experience of the 2021 film festival to the public face of YBCA’s buildings through photography, video, glass painting, poetry, and large-scale projections. The artists selected for this physical installation engage with non-traditional forms of documentary by exploring space, performance, and participatory practice to tell stories.
The films, photos, and participatory art in MOURNING IS AN ACT OF LOVE ask us to reconsider memorials making, and reimagine how we build public experiences that are rooted in our histories, acknowledge our grief, and use love to inspire us to work together for our collective future.
This installation is just one element of the 7th annual SF URBAN FILM FEST: WISDOM LIVES IN PLACES, and part of a two-year residency at YBCA. This year, SF Urban Film Fest curators look for ways to honor the wisdom that’s been here, long before 2020, from folks who have been resilient in the face of adversity, showing us how not only to survive but to thrive.
– Susannah Smith, SF Urban Film Fest