So there is this guy I know, Johnathan Jack Stokes Mellish. He lives around the corner from us and everyone now and again I arrive home to find him sitting mellow in our living room. What a good surprise it always is. Now ol' Mellish has a video camera and he digs to record footage and then bang it together into a piece. Sounds quite mish-mash, no? But somehow Johno manages to produce such effortless and appealing aesthetic in his work which I believe he achieves without trying at all.
On Monday Stokes Mellish rocked up at the Capital and told me about a video he recently made for Petite Noir, something he 'threw together on Saturday'. Amped, let's check it out...
What I love about this video is that it doesn't seem to have a time or place and there is no story line per se but it still flows with ease. Mellish has grabbed some footage and found his own rhythm within the images, lacing them over each other and flirting with different images and their common threads to build up to the beautiful snakey tongue climax.
Over and above the entrancing visuals, I think there is something to be said regarding the notions of stigmas, race, culture, class and Western/European/First World ideologies. Now I don't for a second believe any of it was preempted from the directors side, but I don't believe this video would have the same allure to it if the characters portrayed in it were white trendoids. There is something, I can't place my thumb on it, that is very intriguing about seeing African blipsters in a very 1st world inspired piece - it says something about the Africanism of old and how it's losing its grip on the younger generations as we all slowly but surely find influence and inspiration not from looking back to our forefathers but rather looking outwards at what's happening in the rest of the global community.
PS: that was difficult to write/word correctly while bearing in mind how very iffy people get in SA when talking about race. I'm not casting shade, in case you weren't sure.