Melanie Stevens: Oral (Ex)Traditions
With Performance by Maximiliano Martinez
First Thursday, August 4, 2016

Stories have the ability to document an expansive and unlimited range of human experiences. Likewise, these stories can also function as a method of erasure, persuasion and distortion. From the griots of West Africa to Grimm’s Fairy Tales, one can trace the values and belief systems of an entire society back to the kinds of parables, both fictional and factual, that they choose to engage with, as well as how they do so. Within the rich and long-standing traditions of American cinema, the power dynamics of the socio-political landscape have played out within the narratives found in film, culminating in who creates and tells these tales and from which perspective.

Oral (Ex)Traditions explores various aspects of various American movies in recent history: from their marketing and public positioning to their subtle connotations and mass consumption and acceptance.

Melanie Stevens is painter, writer and illustrator from Atlanta, Georgia. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree for Political Science from Yale University in 2001. She is the writer and creator of the graphic novel, ‘Black Picket Fences’ and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Fine Arts degree for Visual Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon.