Arthur Jafa in conversation
American artist and filmmaker Arthur Jafa will guest Kunstnernes Hus in conversation with Kunstnernes Hus director Anne Hilde Neset. Jafa is referred to as one of the most interesting and groundbreaking artists operating today. He is currently showing at Kunstnernes Hus as part of the exhibition Medicine for a Nightmare with Norwegian-Nigerian artist Frida Orupabo where he shows his film Love is the Message, The Message is Death.
Love is the Message, The Message is Death is an intense and harrowing collage that has been described as a masterpiece and has been highlighted in The New York Times, Frieze, The Guardian, Art News, among others.
The Los Angeles-based artist and filmmaker has been described as a phenomenal public speaker whose reflection on black identity and culture is a pivotal point in his work. He has worked with a number of well-known musicians and directors, including Stanley Kubrick, Spike Lee, Solange, Beyonce Knowles, Jay-Z and John Akomphrah, and guests Oslo for the first time on March 21st.
Orupabo and Jafa were both recently invited to Venice Biennale’s Arsenale and Giardini exchibition curated by Ralph Rugoff: May You Live In Interesting Times. They exhibited together at the Serpentine Gallery in London and at Julia Stoschek Collection in Berlin, when Jafa invited Orupabo to participate in his exhibition A Series Of Utterly Improbable Yet Extraordinary Events. This exhibition will open at Moderna Museet in June 2019.
At Kunstnernes Hus he will talk to director Anne Hilde Neset about his projects including his seven-minute film Love is the Message, of which he has said the following: “I have a very simple mantra and it's this: I want to make a black cinema with the power, beauty, and alienation of black music. That's my big goal. The larger preoccupation is how do we force cinema to respond to the existential, political, and spiritual dimensions of who we are as a people. Music to me is a convenient marker of that. Music is the one in which we know [as black people] we have totally actualized ourselves; we don´t ever have to write another song to contribute as magnificently as we already have. So a cinema like the music — that's what Love Is the Message is trying to do.”
Photo: Robert Hamacher. Courtesy Arthur Jafa and Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York/Rome.