Kota Ezawa: National Anthem (in the BMA's Spring House)
California-based artist Kota Ezawa (b. 1969, Germany) explores and translates significant cultural events into simulations that question the authenticity of both our experiences and retold histories. National Anthem (2018) is a single-channel animated video inspired by the many football players who took a knee, sat, raised fists, or locked arms during the national anthem to call attention to police brutality against unarmed black men and social injustice. Ezawa reproduced N.F.L. pregame footage from 2016 and 2017 by manually tracing sideline images from various football games and meticulously painting each drawing with watercolors to resemble the original image. He then rendered each scene three times, creating over 200 images which he re-animated through photography. He pairs the video with a somber, acoustic rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner performed by a cello quartet. The film culminates with cheers from fans.