All Images © 2012
Justin Randolph Thompson
ALL STORIES TRUE is a sound based performance, reading and screening reflecting upon the hanging of Louis Till by the US military in Italy just a decade before the lynching of his son. Bringing together experimental filmmaking, live-capture sound performance and a reading from the book Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File by John Edgar Wideman, the work intends to connect geographies and problematize notions of predatory blackness through geo-psycho continuities and a sonic capacity for mourning. Two silent short films are projected in concert with two live performances. The films are performance-based site-specific works realized in Livorno’s American Market in dialogue with artist and Chicago native Thelonious Stokes. Livorno is engaged as a site of American liberation during the second word war but also as a site for the formation of an Italian imaginary in relation to Black Americans.
The sound was created during a live performance at Socrates Sculpture Park, a live improvisation by guitarist Brandon Ross and saxophonist Jason Thompson, reflecting on the absence of natural breath and the dissonance of sonic enunciation. The work pulls roughly from the intonation, cadence and aggression of readings of Pisan Cantos by poet Ezra Pound, written from a cell on a US Military base in Pisa where Pound bore witness to and documented the hanging of Till.