Friday, 03 June 2022 10:32

Artium Museoa presents the exhibition 'Fluid Frontiers' by Ephraim Asili as a part of its Z Gallery Programme

The film culminates The Diaspora Series project, a work in which this American filmmaker and educator explores his links to the African exodus.

Professor of Film and Electronic Arts at Bard College, Ephraim Asili won the Grand Prize at the Cinéma du Réel Documentary Film Festival in 2021 with his first feature film, The Inheritance.

Artium Museum of Contemporary Art of the Basque Country presents the project Fluid Frontiers by American filmmaker and educator Ephraim Asili (Z Gallery, until 17 July 2022). The museum hosts the screening of the fifth and final film in The Diaspora Suite series, in which Asili explores his personal relationship with the African exodus. Shot in 16 mm around Detroit River, Fluid Frontiers deals with the relationship between the concepts of resistance and liberation. The Z Gallery programme aims to showcase works by artists making the leap into filmmaking and filmmakers exploring the exhibition format. The current edition of the programme is curated by Garbiñe Ortega. Artium Museum has produced a publication to accompany the exhibition with a text by the writer and independent curator Greg de Cuir Jr.



Ephraim Asili (Roslyn, Pennsylvania, 1979) is a filmmaker, artist and educator whose work focuses on the African diaspora as a cultural force. His films have been screened at festivals and venues worldwide, including the New York Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival (where he received the Award for Most Promising Filmmaker), Milan Film Festival, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Maysles Institute (New York) and Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts (San Francisco). He is a professor and technical director at Bard College and the Scribe Video Centre in Philadelphia. His first feature film, The Inheritance, won the Grand Prize at the Cinéma du Réel Documentary Film Festival in 2021.

Shot in 16mm around the Detroit River area in the United States, Fluid Frontiers is the fifth and final film in The Diaspora Suite project, a work in which Ephraim Asili has explored his links with the African exodus and which has led him to travel through the United States, Ethiopia, Ghana, Brazil and Jamaica.

In this case, the poems of famous authors – Audre Lorde, Sonia Sanchez, Margaret Walker, Etheridge Knight and Dudley Randall, among others – are read aloud in the street by inhabitants of the African-American areas of the cities of Detroit and Windsor, the focus around which the film revolves. Asili also observes the physical environment to provide an overall urban portrait that depicts a lively city surviving its memory.

Asili will hold an online conversation with the curator of this edition of the Z Gallery programme, Garbiñe Ortega, on Wednesday 22 June at 6 pm. The conversation can be viewed in Artium Museoa’s Auditorium and also as a live stream.

NOTE: the film workshop that Ephraim Asili was scheduled to impart on Saturday 4 June to coincide with the exhibition opening has had to be cancelled for reasons beyond the control of Artium Museoa.


The Z Gallery is a space that explores new ways of associating film with art. It is neither a film season in a cinema nor a typical exhibition. It is a project that constructs a third space in the museum from which to visualise and analyse works by artists approaching the cinematographic field and filmmakers exploring the exhibition format. It is a programme that was created to think about the moving image in the museum, introducing authors seeking new narrative forms by questioning the conventions, genres and categorisations that have historically defined cinematographic language.

Some of the artists who have taken part in the programme include Patricia Esquivias, Rosalind Nashashibi, Eric Baudelaire, Maddi Barber and Marina Lameiro, and more recently Ainara Elgoibar and Aura Satz.


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