Film: Tell Them We Were Here and Post Film Discussion

A Film by Griff and Keelan Williams
Saturday, 9/23/2023
2:00 - 4:00
Koret Auditorium
Koret Lobby
Main Library

100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Contact Telephone

An afternoon screening of Tell Them We Were Here followed by a conversation with filmmaker and artist Griff Williams in conversation with Nigel Poor, photographer and co-founcder of the award-wining podcast, Ear Hustler. Tell Them We Were Here chronicles artists living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area who follow a path that is less careerist and more community driven.

The film presents the work of eight artists who engage with the most challenging and polarizing questions of our time. Racial inequality, Environmental justice, Prison reform and Homelessness are all topics embedded in their studio practices. In an age of hypercapitalism, these artists represent an empowering alternative worldview, one that emphasizes creativity and community over capital.

Tell Them We Were Here offers a glimpse into influential artists Alicia McCarthy, Amy Franceschini, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Sadie Barnette, Jim Goldberg, Tucker Nichols, and Nigel Poor, who extend the legacy of Bay Area activism and social consciousness through their unconventional paths in artmaking.

The supporting cast includes internationally acclaimed musician and artist Devendra Banhart, Dena Beard (former curator at Bampfa, current ex-director of The Lab), Chief Curator Rene deGuzman of Oakland Museum Of California, famous skateboarder and musician Tommy Guerrero, designer and artist George McCalman, Cliff Hengst, Larry Rinder (former Ex-Director of Bampfa), curator Apsara D’Quinzio, writer and curator Glen Helfand, former MTV journalist and artist Tabitha Soren, Ramekon O'Arwisters, Tucker Nichols, director and artist Eleanor Coppola, Ala Ebtekar, curator of photography at SFMOMA Erin O’Toole, and artist and founder of Mycoworks Phil Ross.

Music by Devendra Banhart, Vetiver, Virgil Shaw, Sonny Smith, Tommy Guerrero, Kelley Stoltz, Marc Capelle and Fruit Bats.

NR, 88 mins., 2021. Closed captions (CC) in English.

Griff Williams, an American painter, publisher, and gallerist, founded Gallery 16 and Urban Digital Color in 1993. His exhibition and publishing program has collaborated with numerous acclaimed artists including Lynn Hershman Leeson, William Kentridge,Griff Williams headshot Deborah Oropallo and Margaret Kilgallen, among others.

Williams designed and published acclaimed books, including The Gay Seventies: Hal Fischer (Gallery 16 Editions), and a monograph on the late artist Rex Ray with essays by Rebecca Solnit and Christian Frock (Chronicle Books).

His paintings have been showcased in galleries and museums such as the San Diego Museum of Art, the Crocker Art Museum and the San Jose Museum of Art, with reviews featured in Art in America, Flash Art, and Artnews.

Nigel Poor is a renowned artist, photographer, professor and co-host of the critically acclaimed podcast, Ear Hustle. Poor’s exploration of portraiture and unconventional materials examines human presence and the preservation of life's marks.  Nigel Poor headshotHer transformative experience teaching photography in San Quentin State Prison shifted her practice towards collaborative projects and radio storytelling, which has shaped her work exploring the human experience within the prison system. With her insightful perspective and empathetic approach, Poor brings forth powerful narratives and challenges societal perceptions through her contributions to Ear Hustle. Her work has exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the SFMOMA and de Young Museum in San Francisco and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.


Tell Them We Were Here - Website | Tell Them We Were Here - Instagram 

Griff Williams - Website | Griff Williams - Instagram | Gallery 16 - Website

Nigel Poor - Website | Nigel Poor - Instagram

Watch party and film discussions. 

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This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Attending Programs

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Notice: This event may be filmed or photographed. By participating in this event, you consent to have your likeness used for the Library’s archival purposes and promotional materials. If you do not want to be photographed, please inform a staff person or the photographer. A sticker will be provided to help identify you so that we can avoid capturing your image.

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