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Father’s Day at the Shrine of the Black Madonna
Mats Hjelm

The Shrine of the Black Madonna Church is one of the few remaining organizations from the civil rights movements in the 60s. It is not only still alive, it is also expanding. Here is the force from the movements in the 60s together with a contemporary understanding of politics and strategy that has proven to be very efficient. With Black Christian Nationalism they have turned their back on the white American institutions and slowly built their own black alternative based on communalism. They work against individualism and with Jesus as an example of a black revolutionary. Their theology has its originis in Marcus Garvey’s ideas from the 20s, in which God’s chosen people are black. This short film is 12 minutes condensed from a Mass on Father’s Day 2005 – aimed at black men.

Aspect ratio 1,33:1 (4:3)
Prod. format Generic SD-video
Duration 00:12:02
Language English & Swedish
Color Color
Year 2006
In text Mats Hjelm
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About the artist

Mats Hjelm

Born in 1959. Currently lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.

Mats Hjelm is an artist, documentary filmmaker and creator of multimedia installations. His work investigates the boundaries between art and movements of social justice, video installation and documentary practices, and personal and global political narratives. He has worked extensively in Europe, West Africa and the United States, and more recently in Brazil.

Hjelm began working with pictorial art in the 90’s and today he focuses mainly on video. Crucial to Hjelm’s production is the trilogy ‘White Flight’ (1997), ‘Man to Man'(2000) and ‘Kap Atlantis)(2002). In the trilogy Hjelm uses his own filmed material as well as his father’s, the documentary filmmaker Lars Hjelm, who filmed the racial riots in Detroit 1968. Decisive political events in history and condensed lyrical pictures combined with biographical images testify of power structures and simultaneously function as a confrontation and reconciliation with the often absent father. In a non-chronological, cyclical collage form, the different dimensions create a complex and unified structure.

A few examples of his work are: ‘Deliverance’ (2005), exhibited at The Museum of National Antiquities and ‘Father’s day at the Shrine of the Black Madonna’ (2006), recently exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art’ and also included in Filmform’s distribution project ‘Hit the North’.