TOURMALINE’S “SALACIA” IS THE FIRST “HIGH LINE ORIGINALS” FILM BY HIGH LINE ART

Photo by Tourmaline. Salacia, 2019 (still). Courtesy of the artist.

TOURMALINE’S  “Salacia”
The first High Line Originals film commission
May 10 – July 3, 2019
Daily, beginning at dusk
On the High Line at 14th St.

Artist, filmmaker and activist Tourmaline presents the first work in High Line Art’s newest format: “High Line Originals.” Part of High Line Channels, High Line Originals marks the first time High Line Art commissions new and original video work and is intended to support the work of local, emerging artists. Salacia by Tourmaline is the debut film for this initiative and is co-commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum and High Line Art. Tourmaline’s Salacia will screen on the High Line at 14th Street from May 10 through July 3, 2019.

In the style of Black fantasy and folktales such as Virginia Hamilton’s The People Could Fly, Tourmaline’s work for the High Line, “Salacia”, takes place in Seneca Village—a 19th-century free Black community in upper Manhattan that was demolished to create Central Park in 1855. Salacia follows Mary Jones (born 1803), a Black transgender New Yorker as she discovers her power in the face of heightened systemic racism and transphobia.

The cast in Tourmaline’s “Happy Birthday Masha”, 2018.

Tourmaline is an activist, filmmaker, and writer. Tending to the histories and haunts of disabled, poor, Black, queer, and trans life that echo and vibrate beneath neighborhoods and cultural landmarks, Tourmaline’s films undulate between narrative and non-narrative and illuminate the mundane acts that form the fabric of historical events and mutually supportive communities.

Her work highlights the capacity of Black, queer, and trans people and communities to make and transform worlds. In her films, Tourmaline creates dreamlike portraits of people whose stories tell the history of New York City, including gay and trans liberation activists, drag queens, and queer icons Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera (Happy Birthday Marsha, co-directed with Sasha Wortzel, 2018), Miss Major (The Personal Things, 2016), and Egyptt LaBeija (Atlantic is a Sea of Bones, 2017).

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