Glenstone: Arthur Jafa’s Video Montage ‘Love is the Message…’ to be presented June 26th
Like so many Americans, we have been mourning the violent deaths of Rayshard Brooks, David McAtee, Tony McDade, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others whose senseless killings are a stark reminder of the systemic racism prevalent in our country. We stand in solidarity with the Black community. Every Black life matters, and we join the call for equity and an end to racist violence.
One of the most powerful works of art I have seen in recent years is Arthur Jafa’s Love is the Message, The Message is Death, 2016, a 7-1/2 minute video montage composed from a range of sources: broadcast television, historical archives, amateur footage, music videos, the artist’s own footage, and more. Jafa has said that his ambition is to create art, and more specifically, “Black cinema with the power, beauty, and alienation of Black music.”
I am writing today to invite you to join us for a special online presentation of Love is the Message, The Message is Death spearheaded by the artist and our friends and colleagues at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The video, which is held in more than a dozen institutional collections including Glenstone’s, will be simultaneously broadcast for 48 hours beginning Friday, June 26 at 2 p.m. EDT on our website as well as the websites of the Dallas Museum of Art; High Museum of Art in Atlanta; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Studio Museum in Harlem; Julia Stoschek Collection Berlin; Luma Arles and Luma Westbau; Pinault Collection in Paris and Palazzo Grassi in Venice; Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC; Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; and the Tate in London. You can join the viewing through a link on our homepage, www.glenstone.org, or clicking on the link below.
While we prefer to let art speak for itself, please know this artwork contains disturbing images of violence and racial slurs against African Americans.
The artist has also organized two roundtables that will take place at 2 p.m. EDT Saturday, June 27, and Sunday, June 28. The Saturday participants include Peter L’Official, assistant professor of literature at Bard College; Josh Begley, artist; Elleza Kelley, writer and doctoral candidate at Columbia University; and Thomas Lax, curator of media and performance at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Sunday participants include Aria Dean, artist and assistant curator of net art and digital culture at Rhizome; Rashaad Newsome, artist; Isis Pickens, First Lady of Los Angeles’ Zion Hill Baptist Church; and Simone White, poet and assistant professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Both roundtables will be moderated by Tina Campt, the Owen F. Walker Professor of Humanities and Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, and will be streamed on www.sunhaus.us.
Now, more than ever, we recognize the critical role art plays in times of crisis by connecting us to our communities, forcing us to confront uncomfortable truths, and helping to effect change. I hope you will take a few minutes out of your weekend to participate in this online presentation, and we encourage you to share the screening with friends and family.
Emily Wei Rales
Director and Co-Founder