Moment to Movement

From Moment to Movement: Picturing Protest in the Kramlich Collection

The video and film installations featured in this exhibition employ the moving image to address social inequity, racism and failures of democracy. Grounding their work in real-world events in the United States, China, India and South Africa, the artists — Shiva Ahmadi, Dara Birnbaum, Kota Ezawa, Theaster Gates, Nalini Malani and Mikhael Subotzky — show us the capacity of human resistance to challenge dominant power structures. These moving images convey emotion, action and information simultaneously. They call on us as viewers to bear witness to personal and communal struggles. In its immediacy and in the hands of the artist, the medium itself becomes a powerful tool, one that can spark social movements and engender change.

Drawn primarily from the Bay Area-based Kramlich Collection, which is focused largely on video works that tell the most urgent stories of our time, From Moment to Movement offers multiple visions of both repression and defiance. Each artwork is a form of protest that reveals the role of media in our understanding of current events and illustrates the power of art to move us towards a more just and hopeful future.

Exhibition Curator
Susie Kantor, Associate Curator

Exhibition Design
Brett Snyder, associate professor of design, Ama Benkuo Bonsu (’20), Marcus Dubois (’20), Jen Piccinino (’21), Alejandra Valladares-Alvarez (’20), Zoey Ward (’21), Jovita Lois Wattimena (’21) and Genevieve C Zanaska (’21)

Special thanks to Pamela and Richard Kramlich, Joshua Churchill, Aaron Cornish, Jaimeson Daley, Yunsung Hong, Emma James, Jeff Martin and Meagan Ryan.

Thanks to the following UC Davis faculty members for providing their time, knowledge and care in identifying educational resources:

  • Department of African American and African Studies – Professor Benjamin Weber
  • Department of Anthropology – Professor Li Zhang
  • Department of Science and Technology Studies and Department of Cinema and Digital Media – Professor Finn Brunton
  • Department of East Asian Languages – Professor Michelle Yeh
  • Department of History – Professor Sudipta Sen and Professor Justin Leroy
  • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine – Professor J. Faye Dixon and Professor Daniel Ragland
  • Department of Sociology – Professor Eddy U
  • School of Law – Dean Kevin Johnson and Professor Aaron Tang

Additional Resources for Faculty

Faculty and instructors are welcome to bring their classes to visit the exhibition. Possible avenues of inquiry to spark discussions after your visit on art, protest, activism and the power of the moving image are shared in this pdf.

Visitor Response Cards Gallery

As part of this exhibition, visitors are invited to share their experience.  Responses to questions about feeling, seeing, hearing, and taking action are posted in the gallery. View a selection of these responses.