Glenstone Museum Joins International Group of Museums to Screen Arthur Jafa’s “Love is the Message, The Message is Death” (2016) for 48 Hours Online
POTOMAC, MD, June 24, 2020 – As part of an international response by art museums to the current movement for racial justice, Glenstone Museum will participate in a 48-hour, multi-institutional simultaneous screening of Love is the Message, The Message is Death (2016) by Arthur Jafa on June 26-28.
“At this historic moment of civic unrest, we believe one of the most important things we can do is to amplify the eloquent and powerful visions of artists like Arthur Jafa,” said Emily Wei Rales, director and co-founder of Glenstone Museum. “It is a privilege for Glenstone to join in unity with so many other museums by participating in this rare online screening.”
Arthur Jafa (b. 1960) is an American visual artist and filmmaker who uses moving and still images to frame the complexities of Black life in America. As a collector and producer of images, Jafa collages a range of content and textures—viral clips from YouTube, blockbuster sci-fi movies, historic archival footage, video game animations, televised sporting events, police dash cam footage, and his own footage—to create a cinema that, in his own words, “replicates the power, beauty, and alienation of Black music.” Through selection and sequencing, he situates images in “affective proximity” to one another to produce new meaning.
Love is the Message, The Message is Death, a 7-1/2-minute video montage created by the artist in 2016, resonates profoundly with the current moment. Sound, and specifically music, plays an important role in Jafa’s work by operating as a structural tool and cultural signifier. For this work, the artist chose Kanye West’s 2016 song “Ultralight Beam,” a paean to faith infused with African American gospel music as the soundtrack.
“I am thrilled for the opportunity, finally, to have as many people as possible see Love is the Message, The Message is Death,” said Jafa.
The work will be accessible on Glenstone’s website, www.glenstone.org, as well as the websites of other participating museums that hold the work in their collections, from 2 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 26 to 2 p.m. EDT on June 28. In addition to Glenstone, participating museums include the Dallas Museum of Art; the High Museum of Art in Atlanta; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; 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; Smithsonian American Art Museum; The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; and the Tate in London.
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.
Glenstone, a museum of modern and contemporary art, is integrated into nearly 300 acres of gently rolling pasture and unspoiled woodland in Montgomery County, Maryland, less than 15 miles from the heart of Washington, DC. Established by the not-for-profit Glenstone Foundation, the museum opened in 2006 and provides a contemplative, intimate setting for experiencing iconic works of art and architecture within a natural environment.
Glenstone is open Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to Glenstone is free and visits can be scheduled online at: www.glenstone.org. Same-day visits can be scheduled online.
Media Contact: Emily Grebenstein