Presence (2018)

Presence by Hayley Elizabeth Anderson | 10 mins | scored by Roots Raddix

Commissioned and premiered at Basquiat x Video Jam at the Barbican Hall, 28/01/18. The event marked the closing of Basquiat: Boom for Real, the first large scale exhibition of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s in the UK.

Presence is a double frame film portrait dedicated to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painting Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart) and his work as a young street artist under SAMO (“Same Old Shit”), on the cusp of immense fame. Defacement depicts the beating of 25-year-old fellow graffiti artist Michael Stewart, who later died from his injuries, by New York City police officers in 1983. In recent years the painting has become linked to discussions around state violence, police brutality, activism and #BlackLivesMatter.

Artist Statement:Defacement’s history and intention informs Presence. Shot on a variety of formats, the film captures two young men who could be either Basquiat and Michael Stewart; there appears little to differentiate between their lives. They engage in mundane activities expressing joy, frustration and contemplation as the film ruminates on Basquiat’s reflection following Stewart's death: ‘It could have been me.’” - Hayley Elizabeth Anderson

Hayley Elizabeth Anderson is a filmmaker from Texas currently residing in New York City. Inspired by her southern roots, she has developed a unique aesthetic capturing Gulf Coast culture. Her short film Get Out Fast, about a teenage train hopper, was shot entirely on film in New Orleans and premiered at Slamdance Film Festival 2017 where she was named a “Filmmaker to Watch”. Haley received her Bachelor’s degree in Playwriting and Filmmaking from the University of Texas. During this time, she street cast films for Jason Reitman and Terrence Malick, which nurtured her ongoing interest in working with non-actors. She is currently a Dean’s Fellow at NYU’s graduate film program, where she is developing her first feature film.