Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic

Movement I – TheVisions (completed 2014)
Movement II – TheSeamstress
Movement III – TheDeities
Movement IV – TheSoldier
I'm currently exploring themes such as biomythography, re-memory, and magical realism which I’m using as aids in challenging my personal methods of delivering visual narrative through the use of film, sound, and sculpture. Biomythography, is a term coined by poet and author Audre Lorde in her book, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. Biomythography is rooted in intersectional practice and encourages "toeing the line" of myth, historical references, and biography in epic narrative form. It's all about standpoint and one's personal point of view of the world in an objective and subjective space, simultaneously. With my experimental series Be Alarmed, I've created a conceptual epic film, sound, and visual art work rooted in my personal familial history, my current biography, and themes that may relate to the greater African-American experience.
My series Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic has given me room to place my physical self within my work both literally and figuratively. This is a series derived from my experience watching film trailers at a time in my childhood where I was not allowed to watch a great number of films due to parental censorship. During this period of time I came to see the film trailers that played before the films I had access to as the film "itself". Be Alarmed as a series will be comprised of four parts, with the first part being Movement I - The Visions and each series contains a set of trailers and scenes that will eventually function as the overall film. Except in this case there is no full linear film, just trailers, scenes, narrative objects and film stills that give insight to the overall narrative arc of the "film".
Be Alarmed is an epic film. An epic film is a genre of film that emphasizes human drama on a grand scale, is often set during a time of societal crisis, and covers a long range of time. With Be Alarmed I am deconstructing and exploring this idea alongside the format of film trailers which will include key elements of my personal familial history in America from the 1930s to present day. With each movement within the series to accompany the trailers I have also created a series of sculptures and artifacts that are situated within the narrative of the film, creating my own Black Americana in the form of sculptural objects that also serve as a form film memorabilia, outside and within the film, that aid in the telling of the overall narrative story. With each object there is an integral sentimental value embedded within these objects' due to their relationship and use within the film, therefore making them also a part of the overall films narrative. I am also taking a look at the idea and genre of an epic film and what that looks like if deconstructed to represent a larger work through the use of the shorter film sequence format.
BeAlarmed: The Black Americana Epic, Movement I - The Visions
Tiona McClodden
January 1, 2014

Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic
Movement I - The Visions 
Tiona McClodden (solo exhibition)
Jan. 31 - March 15, 2014 
Esther Klein Art Gallery - Philadelphia, PA 

W A I T (group show)
On View: May 17 – June 7, 2014
Project 4 Gallery - Washington, DC

Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic, Movement I - The Visions
The film Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic,Movement I – The Visions, set in North Philadelphia, PA, introduces the main character, The Haint, portrayed byactress Danielle Deadwyler. The Haint is a spirit who that is a mute, exceptfor the few times that she speaks, which is in a "screwed" tone,otherwise she communicates through the use of film subtitles. Her primarycommunication is with The Heroine, who is portrayed by McClodden. The Haint embodies emotional andphysical characteristics of the maternal, paternal, and spiritual elements ofMcClodden’s personal and familial history. By presenting a series of minimalisttrailers, scenes, and film press kit displays McClodden hopes to encourage the viewer to ‘fill in the blanks’in regards to the larger narrative of the idea behind the work.
SCENE I: Offerings.
SCENE II:Bout’ Time, Protection 
SCENE III:The Hem of Her Garment. 
SCENE IV:Vulnerability 
Trailer I,Family Tree
Trailer II, Spirit Away
Trailer III, Steal Away 
Trailer IV, Initiation 
Bonus Scene,SCENE V, One year and seven days 

The Third attempt 2012, The Puzzle Box, The Legend, 2013 
Sweet Brown, 2013 
The Deities, 2013 
The First Attempt, Wade in De Water,2013
The Second Attempt, Follow The Drinking Gourd, 2013 
The Etymology of A Surname, 2013 
The Haint's clothing, 2013 
dem silvers, 2013 
crooked ass teeth, 2012
Protection from all bad things, 2013
Portrait of my mother and father, 2013 
The Etymology of A Surname, 2013 
The Seamstress 

FILM POSTERS & STILL FRAMES: Film Poster #1 Dear Papa, Matte Digital C-Print 27 X 40in. Film Poster #2 Marvis, Matte Digital C-Print 27 X 40in. Film Poster #3 Mother, Matte Digital C-Print 27 X 40in. Film Poster # 4 Father, Matte Digital C-Print 27 X 40in. Be Alarmed The Black Americana Epic, Movement I – The Visions Presskit,  Matte Digital C-Prints, 9 - 8 x 10 Film Stills, 4- 11 x 14 in. Lobby Cards 

Using Format