An incantation of multiple architectures of the self for Black women, Conspiracy is a film by artists Simone Leigh and Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich. This tribute to the manual labors of creation, which closes with a gesture of contained Black feminist arson, forms a contact zone between their respective practices of sculpture and filmmaking. The wandering hypnosis of Hunt-Ehrlich’s gorgeous black and white cinematography ritualises the assertive elegance of Leigh’s craftsmanship of clay and stone. This shared composition is directed by a mesmerising attentiveness to the haptics of sculptural labour.
Hunt-Ehrlich and Leigh’s film performs an enchanting re-citation of Hands of Inge (1962), a 16mm black-and-white documentary about the artist Ruth Inge Hardison. An actor and photographer, Hardison was most dedicated to her practice as a sculptor. As one of few Black women recognised in this capacity, there is a line of inheritance between her and Leigh’s defiant positionalities within the white norms of the art world. These nested references to cultural caretaking and artistic ingenuity are heightened by Lorraine O’Grady’s presence in the film.
Leigh and Hunt-Ehrlich have had a decade-long creative friendship, which makes this film an extension of an ongoing conversation that both also share with a larger constellation of Black women cultural workers.
by Simone Leigh, Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich
with Simone Leigh, Kimari Hazward, Lorraine O’Grady, Edward Sales, Jin Sik, Sarah Wang, Anastasia Warren
USA 2022 English 25’ Black/White European premiere


  • Simone Leigh
  • Kimari Hazward
  • Lorraine O’Grady
  • Edward Sales
  • Jin Sik
  • Sarah Wang
  • Anastasia Warren


Directors Simone Leigh, Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich
Cinematography Alex Ashe
Editing Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich
Sound Andrew Kim
Producer Sophie Luo
Co-Producer Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich

Produced by

Simone Leigh Studio

Simone Leigh

Simone Leigh was born in Chicago and first began exhibiting her work in the early 2000s. She has had solo exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Tate Gallery, London; the Studio Museum in Harlem; and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles among others and her work was included in the 2012 and 2019 Whitney Biennale, New York. In 2014, she presented “The Free People’s Medical Clinic” in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood in Brooklyn. Leigh represented the United States at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (2022) and her work was also included in the central exhibition, “The Milk of Dreams,” for which she was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Participant.


2008 Uhura; 38 min. 2009 Zira; 5 min. · Uhura (back and forth); 5 min. 2011 my dreams, my work, must wait till after hell; 7 min. · Breakdown; in collaboration with Liz Magic Laser, 9 min. 2012 Uhura #3 (Tanka); 5 min. 2019 Untitled (M*A*S*H); 11 min. 2022 Conspiracy

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023

Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich

Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich is a filmmaker and artist who has completed projects in Kingston, Jamaica; Miami, Florida; and extensively in the five boroughs of New York City. Her work has been screened all over the world including at the 2022 Biennale di Venezia, the Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of Art in New York. Her films have been awarded special jury prize for best experimental film at Blackstar Film Festival in Philadelphia and New Orleans Film Festival. She is the recipient of several fellowships and grants.


2018 A Quality of Light; 8 min. 2019 Spit on the Broom; 12 min. 2020 Outfox the Grave; 5 min. · Footnote to the West; 5 min. 2022 Conspiracy

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023