Ephraim Asili photographed by Lou Jones in Cambridge, Mass.

Ephraim Asili

Hudson, New York

Ephraim Asili received the Creative Capital Award in 2024. Ephraim Asili is an African American artist and educator whose work focuses on the African diaspora as a cultural force. Often inspired by his quotidian wanderings, Asili creates art that situates itself as a series of meditations on the everyday. He received his B.A. in Film and Media Arts from Temple University and his M.F.A in Film & Interdisciplinary Art at Bard College. Asili is currently the Director of the Film & Electronic Arts at Bard College where he is also an Associate Professor of film production and film studies. Asili’s films have screened in festivals and venues all over the world, including the New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, The Berlinale, and the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Asili’s 2020 feature debut The Inheritance premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, and was recently acquired by the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2021 Asili was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. During the summer of 2022 Asili directed a short film Strange Math, along with the 2023 Men’s Spring/Summer fashion show for Louis Vuitton.

Eternal Rhythm

Ephraim Asili is an African American artist and educator whose research based practices focuses on the African diaspora as a cultural force.

Artist Bio

After making significant contributions to the world of avant-garde jazz as a member of the Ornette Coleman Quartet in the 1950s and 1960s, American trumpet player Don Cherry suffered several personal setbacks that made it difficult for him to continue working in New York. In 1970, after a brief stint teaching at Dartmouth College, Don, along with his wife, artist Moki Cherry, decided to pack up and relocate to her native Sweden. After purchasing an abandoned schoolhouse in Tagarp, Don and Moki began a decade-long collaboration that merged multicultural expressions of art, music, and radical living into a synergetic model for communal creativity. Seeking an alternative to the toxic and taxing elements of the commercial jazz circuit, the couple began organizing expanded, Happening-like concerts in unconventional contexts, coining the terms “Movement Incorporated” and later, “Organic Music” to go beyond orthodox “mixed media” in elaborating their visionary confluence of global folk musics, environmental paintings and tapestries, slide and film projection, and living theater. With a combination of original 16mm film footage, Cherry family home movies, photo slides, correspondence letters, and other archival elements, Eternal Rhythm unpacks and explores both the personal and artistic relationship between Don and Moki during the years of their collaborative practice (1965-1985), as they work through the complexities of cultural exchange and in a rapidly changing global landscape.