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15 Museums to Broadcast Artist Arthur Jafa's 'Love Is the Message,' for 48 hrs. - FAD Magazine

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15 Museums to Broadcast Artist Arthur Jafa’s ‘Love Is the Message,’ for 48 hrs.

15 Museums to Broadcast Artist Arthur Jafa's 'Love Is the Message,' for 48 hrs.

Fifteen arts institutions will simultaneously livestream Arthur Jafa’s video work, Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death (2016) over the course of 48 hrs beginning tomorrow Friday June 26th for audiences around the world.

The effort is spearheaded by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which jointly acquired the work in 2018. Other institutions participating in the project include the Glenstone Museum; the Dallas Museum of Art; the High Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Julia Stoschek Collection; Luma Arles and Luma Westbau; the Pinault Collection; the Palazzo Grassi; the Stedelijk Museum; and the Tate.

Arthur Jafa’s film is a powerful collage of found and original footage exploring the Black American experience set to Kanye West’s song “Ultralight Beam.” Love is the Message is usually displayed on a large screen in a dark gallery, and Jafa previously has not made it available online. Now, with the artist’s full support, a coalition of 13 museums around the world have come together to stream it online for the first time. We understand that sharing art is not a substitute for other institutional actions to support social change. Yet we also believe that artists’ insights into complex histories and lived experiences are essential, and that they can be galvanizing.

As relevant as Love is the Message is to events today, it also assumes the ongoing history of systemic violence against Black people in the United States. It shows how Black Americans have taken these experiences and created cultural, political, and aesthetic achievements that both are intrinsic to American identity and radiate far beyond the nation’s borders. Four minutes in, the actress Amandla Stenberg poses a pointed question that echoes long after it ends: “What would America be like if we loved Black people as much as we love Black culture?”

Displayed at the Hirshhorn in the 2017 exhibition The Message: New Media Works, Jafa’s video was acquired jointly by the Hirshhorn and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2018.

Two related discussions with Jafa will be held on Saturday, June 27th, at 2 p.m. EST and Sunday, June 28th, at 2 p.m. EST more details here: www.sunhaus.us.

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