Drawing from political speech and historical Nike ads, five women train to become revolutionaries or neo-liberal consumers.
Trainers is based on extensive research into an archive of Nike commercials and marketing from 1988 until 2014. The script, the cinematography and the choreography are informed by this archive as well as by political rhetoric and soap opera aesthetics. The women are training to become revolutionaries or neo-liberal consumers within the confines of a highly abstract stage set based on sneaker designs, and with reference to basketball court motifs – in particular Spike Lee’s 1990 Nike commercial, Urban Jungle Gym. The set also alludes to the history of aesthetic abstraction (i.e., Russian Constructivism) to explore the appropriation of radical and revolutionary discourses in contemporary commercial culture.
IMAGE AND TEXT SOURCES:
Nike advertising campaigns, 1988-2014
Abraham Lincoln, speech in New Haven, Connecticut 1860
W.E.B. DuBois, speech to members of the Niagara Movement, 1906
Gil Scott-Heron, A New Black Poet: Talk at 125th and Lenox, Flying Dutchman/RCA,1970
Milton Friedman, Becker Friedman Institute website
bell hooks, Reel to Real: Race, Sex and Class at the Movies, (New York: Routledge, 1996)
David Cameron, speech on public service reform, 2011
Michelle Obama, speech at the Democratic National Convention, 2012
David Cameron, speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, 2013
Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President on Economic Mobility,” 2011
Ashstress Agwunobi, Danielle Dean, Erin Christovale, Mireya Lucio, Pauline Shaw
Luis Guízar – Producer/Cinematographer
Mireya Lucio – Assistant Director
Phillip Pyle II – Camera
Nicholas Bonamy – Art direction
David Bell – Set production assistant
Michael J. Galindo – Audio recording
Caleb Townsend – Sound
Larry Zipf – Sound
Travis Plummer – Sound
WITH SUPPORT FROM: Federal Art Project, Flor de Luz Productions, Hammer Museum, Commonwealth Council, Guesthaus, Astek Inc.