Max Beckmann Lecture
Artist Talk with Arthur Jafa: A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions
Arthur Jafa is an artist, filmmaker, and cinematographer from Tupelo, Mississippi. Over the past three decades, he has developed a dynamic oeuvre of films, artefacts, and happenings that reference the universal and specific articulations of Black being. A recurring question surfaces throughout Jafa’s multifaceted work: How can visual media—whether objects, static or moving images—transmit the equivalent sentiments of “power, beauty, and alienation” that are embedded within forms of Black music in US culture?
Jafa’s films have garnered acclaim at the Los Angeles, New York, and Black Star film festivals, and his artworks are held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, The Tate, Studio Museum in Harlem, High Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Stedelijk Museum, Luma Foundation, Perez Art Museum in Miami, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and Julia Stoschek Collection, among others.
In this talk, Jafa will speak about his concluding exhibition at the Julia Stoschek Collection Berlin as well as his latest project “The White Album.” The title of the exhibition, A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions, concerns the sense of absence Jafa sees haunting Black life. The word “rendition” refers to his interpretation of the aesthetics associated with Black being, which are historically inscribed in images, objects, and artefacts. By re-performing these narratives in the present, Jafa imagines and constructs new possibilities for making them visible.
The exhibition ARTHUR JAFA: A SERIES OF UTTERLY IMPROBABLE, YET EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS is on display until 16 December 2018 at the JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION BERLIN.