arthur jafa's 'love is the message, the message is death' to be streamed online for 48 hours
 

arthur jafa's 'love is the message, the message is death' to be streamed online for 48 hours

the hirshhorn museum and sculpture garden and the smithsonian american art museum have joined forces to livestream arthur jafa’s video work ‘love is the message, the message is death’ continuously for 48 hours this weekend, june 26–28, 2020. the acclaimed piece explores the mix of joy and pain, transcendence and tragedy that characterize the black american experience. another 11 art museums and private collections from around the world are participating in the livestream, including the tate in london and the museum of contemporary art los angeles. this event marks the first time the artist has authorized showing the video outside of a museum or gallery setting.

arthur jafa's 'love is the message, the message is death' to be streamed online for 48 hoursarthur jafa, ‘love is the message, the message is death’ (film still), 2016
all images courtesy of the artist and gavin brown’s enterprise, new york / rome

 

 

in ‘love is the message, the message is death’, arthur jafa creates a powerfully moving montage of original and appropriated footage, set to kanye west’s gospel-inflected song ‘ultralight beam’. the seven-and-a-half-minute video highlights the ongoing violence and racism against black people, which is foundational to US history and continues to exist in the present. at the same time, it also explores how black americans have taken these experiences and created cultural, political and aesthetic achievements that are intrinsic to the national identity. ‘I am thrilled for the opportunity, finally, to have as many people as possible see ”love is the message, the message is death”,’ says jafa.

arthur jafa's 'love is the message, the message is death' to be streamed online for 48 hoursarthur jafa, ‘love is the message, the message is death’ (film still), 2016

 

 

the video will be streamed continuously for 48 hours on the websites of the hirshhorn museum and sculpture garden and the smithsonian american art museum beginning at 2 PM ET friday, june 26. another 11 art museums and private collections in seven countries, which hold an edition of the artwork, are joining the livestream, making the video simultaneously accessible on their websites. the global consortium of participating museums and collections include the dallas museum of art; glenstone museum; the high museum of art in atlanta; the museum of contemporary art los angeles; the studio museum in harlem, julia stoschek collection berlin; luma arles in france and luma westbau in zürich; palazzo grassi – punta della dogana – pinault collection; the stedelijk museum amsterdam; and the tate in london. additionally, two roundtable panel discussions convened by the artist will take place saturday, june 27, at 2 PM ET and sunday, june 28, at 2 PM ET on sunhaus.

arthur jafa's 'love is the message, the message is death' to be streamed online for 48 hoursinstallation view at the hirshhorn museum and sculpture garden, smithsonian, washington, DC, 2017
image by cathy carver (also header image)

 

 

together with SAAM, we commit to making one of the critical works of our time radically accessible while smithsonian doors are closed,’ says hirshhorn director melissa chiu. ‘our mission is to create meaning and context through the display and preservation of art of our time. with this comes social responsibilities. we grieve with the families and communities who are subject to ongoing injustices, racism and brutality. every black life matters. it is arthur jafa’s intention that his work be shared across the world.’

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