‘a Black display of Black excellence’
June 27, 2020 7:05 PM   Subscribe

In collaboration with the artist, Tate is streaming Love is the Message, The Message is Death from the collection, acquired in 2018 and shown at Tate Liverpool in 2019. The video is also in the collection of several international museums who are streaming it at the same time.

Jafa’s work is a seven-minute video made up of clips collaged from original and found footage. Distressing scenes of historic and contemporary violence inflicted on Black Americans by individuals and institutions are woven with scenes of religious ecstasy, athletic prowess, poetic and musical performance – what Jafa has called ‘a Black display of Black excellence.’

I am thrilled for the opportunity, finally, to have as many people as possible see Love is the Message, The Message is Death
Arthur Jafa
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:10 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]

Thank you for putting this up. I would have missed it. Unfortunately, this showing goes down June 28th @ 19:00 BST, so the sooner it is watched, the better.
posted by nnunley at 7:27 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]

Thanks for the reminder! Lyrical, awful, terrifying, fuck.
posted by cultcargo at 8:19 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]

I love this film; it's incredibly powerful. I have thought about it often ever since I first saw it at (IIRC) the Hirschhorn in DC. I hope more MeFites discover it now.
posted by capricorn at 8:20 PM on June 27

Though it's a work of video art, after watching this a few times, one realizes that it's a gesamtkunstwerk.
posted by nikoniko at 11:42 PM on June 27

What would America be like if it loved black people the way it loves black culture?

(Not exact, from memory.) Powerful stuff. Thanks Ahmad Khani for the post and nnunly for the head’s up that the showing ends later today. I would have missed it otherwise.
posted by Bella Donna at 3:31 AM on June 28

The title echoes James Tiptree Jr's classic short story "Love is the plan, the plan is death", (which is noted by the author)
posted by lalochezia at 4:34 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]

Managed to watch it before it went away. Man, that is a serious piece of art! That's going to stick with me for a while.
posted by hippybear at 5:33 AM on June 28

I watched Ray for the first time last night, Which puts this piece in a particular perspective, and I'm absolutely blown away. Ultralight beam is in my list of unnumbered favorite songs of all time.
posted by FirstMateKate at 5:40 AM on June 28

Thanks; we knew on Friday this was happening but hadn't got around to it yet, and this reminded to watch it in the few hours left.

We saw the Arthur Jafa exhibit at the Serpentine in 2017, not having heard of it, so it's always great to see more by someone and have that "ohhhh yeahhhhh" reaction.

Powerful piece.
posted by stevil at 8:05 AM on June 28

I got to see this projected in huge movie theater dimensions on a darkened gallery wall at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago last year, and it was totally stunning. Thanks for pointing us to where it can be seen again!
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:08 AM on June 28

Looks like it's down now.
posted by ovvl at 11:08 AM on June 28

Will Gompertz writes about Arthur Jafa in his review of Kanye West's new video which was made by Jafa.
posted by fullerine at 1:46 AM on July 4

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